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album review: bella clava, holy crow

First things first, who exactly are Bella Clava?

Bella Clava are an independent hard rocking, dirty sounding , rock ‘n’ roll band fresh from Thunder Bay, Canada. The group have just released their impressive debut album, Holy Crow, and have been receiving a lot of praise both within Canada and the US for their live performances. Working with Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey) on their debut album, you can begin to imagine that your ears are going to be in for a treat and rightly so, this album is bound to please any fan of true old school rock ‘n’ roll.

Opening track ‘Conflict and Desire’ immediately gives you a taste of what the band is about – hard hitting guitars, an amazing melodic organ, the often optimistic sounding vocal stylings of Caitlin Dacey and of course some crunching guitar solos. The track is really a notable way to start the album as it is horribly, horribly catchy and instantly hooks you in from the beginning, making you instantly want to hear more.

The following track, ‘Ding Dong Ditch’, continues in the fashion of the opening track: hard rocking and always fun, making you feel as if you want to stand on a chair and play some air guitar. This isn’t to say that entire album sounds the same though. Tracks like ‘Doubt’ and ‘The Less Dead’ show off the group’s musical talent with deeply haunting organ/piano combined with a steady bass line, and some contrasting guitar rhythms shows that the group are well rehearsed in their art and, without a doubt, worthy of the praise that they have been receiving.

It is hard to give an exact comparison for the group as their sound is quite varied; it is obvious they have influences from early 60s/70s such as The Doors and Steppenwolf however the vocals often scream of Stevie Nicks/PJ Harvey. Perhaps if Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf and Stevie Nicks got together and had a love child it might just sound like Bella Clava.

Holy Crow is a very impressive debut album which delivers a truly beautiful rock ‘n’ roll sound not often heard in modern music.  It is an album that will grip you from start to finish, with catchy tunes, hard hitting guitars, and numerous guitar solos it is everything that a rock album should be and more, so turn your stereo up to 11 and enjoy Bella Clava’s  Holy Crow. If you like your rock ‘n’ roll, this album will not disappoint.

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