What do Harambe, politics, and grunge all having in common? If you’d answer they’re all dead and outdated, you’d be wrong – Cold Comfort manages to blend these three items and whole lot of witty socio-political rebuke in the context of rap-rock which has seemingly gone missing entirely over the past few years.
The band has called this release a mixtape – and though it’s not how I’d traditionally use that term, it makes sense. The band saw a strong start with two EPs in 2014, but they’ve since slowed down. The predecessor to Year of the Crow was only two songs long and was released over a year ago. So, this release is a bridge between the past and the future. Thankfully, it has been worth the wait.
Statistics serves as the no-chill intro to the mixtape. I’ll let you explore Keifer Wynn’s lyrical mastery more in-depth for yourself, but rest assured, he pull no punches. Whereas Tomi Lahren directly addresses political corruption and the 2016 election, Statistics is a more general overview of 2016 – celebrity deaths, meme culture, riots, and, lest we forget, the Warriors blowing their 3-1 lead (it’s right in the lyrics if you don’t believe me).
Wang’s Kitchen works in sung vocal parts, complete with harmonies by the EP’s producer. It’s an energetic track that’s heavy and instrumentally-focused. That’s not to say that the lyrics are lacking, especially with the ending line of “CC on the nameplate, kickin’ in the walls of your safe space”.
The closer, Crawdad Man, opens subtly, with soft vocals and Rage Against the Machine-esque guitar lines. The dynamics of the tracks are its true strength and make it a suitable end to Year of the Crow. I’m confident Wynn could pull off R&B if he wanted, as evidenced by some of the smooth vocal melodies in this track. However, this vulnerability is countered by aggression – both on the instrumental and lyrical sides.
Year of the Crow ultimately is a strong-but-brief return offering. Despite its length, there’s still plenty of variety and enough lyrical strength to make this a great release. Time will tell what the band will do next, but let’s hope they continue in this direction.