Album review: Crawlers – The Mess We Seem To Make

Viral and vital Scouse rockers Crawlers prove they’re ready to take on the world with heart-tugging first album, The Mess We Seem To Make.

Album review: Crawlers – The Mess We Seem To Make
Sam Law

Crawlers arrive with their long-awaited debut album not on hands and knees, but with strident purpose and fractured hearts beating out of their chests. It’s understandable. Having blown up on TikTok and been invited out on tour with giants like My Chemical Romance and YUNGBLUD, the Liverpudlian quartet have every reason to be overloaded with strident self-belief, but the striking vibrancy and surging energy with which they translate it to these 12 tracks is utterly remarkable.

There’s little time for looking in the rearview mirror. Yes, mega-hit 2021 single Come Over (Again) makes the tracklist – its grungy, hooky, melancholy brilliance shines as brilliantly here as it on each of the tens of millions of streams already racked up – but this is an album built for the road ahead.

As pumping opener Meaningless Sex thrusts into the fuzzy Kiss Me, their meld of vulnerability and intimacy with stadium-ready composition continues to bear fruit. Hit It Again proves a willingness to crank the heaviness when the moment calls. The brilliant Would You Come to My Funeral is a teasing lyrical masterclass with a pulsing bassline and soaring chorus that are impossibly full of life.

For a band who broke out on attention-deficit social media, Crawlers command the long-form with no lack of substance and impressive pacing. The mournful, piano-driven Golden Bridge finds room to sprawl and fully develop mid-album. The probing Kills Me To Be Kind loses nothing for sitting alongside their breakout hit, painting a picture of how the band have grown up since. The tentative alt. pop of Call It Love wears the influence of icons like PJ Harvey and Fiona Apple on its sleeve before heart-rending closer Nighttime Affair delivers a masterclass in theatrical understatement.

Perhaps most impressive is how this is a record destined to delight not just Crawlers’ fans – the affectionately named Creepy Crawlies – but pretty much anyone whose earways it happens to invade. The, ahem, crawl to superstardom is well underway.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: YONAKA, Pale Waves, Paramore

The Mess We Seem To Make is out now via Polydor

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