Corvus Stone, Corvus Stone Unscrewed (Melodic Revolution Records, 2015)
Tracks: Brand New Day (3:52), Early Morning Calls (3:52), Joukahainen Without Chips (2:53), Horizon (Remixed) (1:52), Landfill (3:44), After Solstice (Remix) (4:05), Jussi Pussi (Remix) (2:45), Scary Movie Too (special release) (7:38), Petrified in the Cinema Basement (3:10), Lost and Found Revisited (3:29), Cinema Finale (6:02), Pack Up Your Truffles (2:07), Moustaches in Massachusetts (4:18)
Here we are, yet again, with another belated review of a great Corvus Stone album. It seems I’m off by about a year. But no matter, the music is wonderful! From the pounding of the opening bassline to the uniquely Colin Tench guitars, Unscrewed has it all and more. Nobody was really expecting a new Corvus Stone album last year, but that didn’t stop the band from making a good one.
Much like in the first two albums, Unscrewed is hard to nail down to any one genre. It has clear jazz influences, but the guitars definitely have a Floydian touch to them, much like in Tench’s work with Andy John Bradford’s Oceans 5. The keyboards offer a nice proggy vibe from all eras of progressive rock, courtesy of Pasi Koivu. The jazziest part of the music definitely comes from Robert Wolff’s amazing drums. Steady, yet understated, bass throughout, courtesy of Petri Lidström, keeps everything together.
Like earlier Corvus Stone albums, Unscrewed is primarily instrumental, even more so than the first two albums. However, when they do use vocals, they do a great job of breaking up the album. The vocals are often used as an added instrument, rather than the lyrics being the focal point of the song. Take the chanting of the line, “Early morning call” on the second song, “Early Morning Calls.” The singing melts into the music rather than standing apart from it.
As you can see from the tracklist, several of the songs are remixes from earlier songs. This is a nice way a revisiting earlier material while displaying the songs in a new light. “Scary Movie Too” provides a sequel to a song off of the first album, as well as a darker turn to the music. “Pack Up Your Truffles,” a new song, is driven by an almost bluesy guitar line, further demonstrating the wide variety of styles present in Corvus Stone’s music. My one complaint with this song is its length – I could have listened to it for a lot longer than 2 minutes and 7 seconds.
As usual, Sonia Mota did a beautiful job with the artwork. The raven is a recurring theme in the band’s artwork, and I love how the movie posters in front of the theater are all Corvus Stone artwork. There’s a lot going on, and it matches the music perfectly.
Corvus Stone Unscrewed is another great album from the obscure band. Their music is a lot of fun to listen to, and it is generally pretty lighthearted. The band has a lot of fun writing goofy names and lyrics, and their love of music shines through.