Written in Dayton, Ohio, and recorded in Dayton, Kentucky, Cricketbows’ Raised On Rock And Roll (out April 20) is at once a starkly realistic product of its environment as well as a fantastical voyage into a magical and mysterious multiverse of its own design.
The album, featuring artwork from Bay Area legend Alan Forbes (AFI, The Black Crowes), Raised on Rock And Roll sees release on April 20, 2021.
If we are to believe the fundamental principles of theoretical physics, we can rest assured that somewhere out there is a band called Cricketbows whose albums can be found in the collections of vintage vinyl connoisseurs alongside their contemporaries like The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. They travel by stretch limousine, playing sold-out arenas on bills with Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, The Faces and The Eagles. Rumors run rampant about their involvement in witchcraft and the occult and their fans study their album art like a newly found ancient scroll and argue the merits of their heavier works versus their more country-tinged later era. Rock journalists working for glossy magazines publish unhinged accounts of the decadence, debauchery and mental decline within the band and their most devoted followers tack the photos from their magazine spreads to their bedroom walls and add flame to the bowls of their Cricketbows bongs with their disposable Cricketbows lighters.
While Cricketbow’s Raised On Rock And Roll LP is at once both a spaceship and a covered wagon fueled by nostalgia and aimed straight at your heart, alas, this message comes to you from a segment of the multiverse where Cricketbows is an independent, underground band stranded in the second decade of the two-thousands where classic rock as an art form is fifty-something years old and is both heralded as part of the foundation of popular culture as well as reviled for its antiquity.
So what should a displaced classic rock band that’s stuck in the modern era of political unrest, pandemics and a novelty fueled musical climate, do differently to compensate? The answer is, of course, not a damn thing.
Of course, if this all came out in 1977 there would be a Grammy for Raised On Rock and Roll‘s production swami Mike Montgomery (The Breeders, Buffalo Killers), and a lasting spot in Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top Classic Albums list. But in this particular alternate universe the band is proud just to say that the album exists and stands as a monument to the music that has inspired them, and to the home in which it was created.
On the track “Ride Or Die,” what starts as a very convincing gospel/soul hymn written to celebrate the band’s den-mother, Chad’s wife Michelle (“She’s ride or die – she gets me high”), shifts into a full-tilt glam rock strut custom built for a more muscular New York Dolls or KISS, who is mentioned here for the second time on the album (“So let’s do the time warp one more time, and dance like the Motor City Five, And pretend that KISS is still alive, with someone who’s ride or die”).
Today the band shares “Ride or Die” and “Necronomicon” via their Bandcamp. Enjoy both below.