The Great Crusades – Welcome To The Hiawatha Inn

After last year's disappointing Never Go Home, Brian Krumm's Illinois quartet seem to have rediscovered the last-gang-in-town swagger that made 2000's Damaged Goods such a riot. Guitars cranked up to 11, it's bulging roadhouse rock, with the added croak of Krumm's phlegmy Tom Waits-isms. But there's a leanness about these loser-through-a-shot-glass songs that suggests they've matured too, not least on the latter-day gunslinger ballad "November" and in the neon-splashed moodiness of "St Christopher Street".

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After last year’s disappointing Never Go Home, Brian Krumm’s Illinois quartet seem to have rediscovered the last-gang-in-town swagger that made 2000’s Damaged Goods such a riot. Guitars cranked up to 11, it’s bulging roadhouse rock, with the added croak of Krumm’s phlegmy Tom Waits-isms. But there’s a leanness about these loser-through-a-shot-glass songs that suggests they’ve matured too, not least on the latter-day gunslinger ballad “November” and in the neon-splashed moodiness of “St Christopher Street”. The sparse “I’ll Be Over Here” suggests a bona fide classic may be within reach.

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