Album Reviews

Crawlers – The Mess We Seem To Make

(Polydor) UK release date: 16 February 2024


A remarkably confident, assured debut album from a band on the cusp of some very big things

Crawlers - The Mess We Seem To Make The debut album from Crawlers seems to have been a long time in the making. The Liverpool quartet, formed back in 2018, first grabbed public attention when their track Come Over (Again) went viral in that most modern of ways, on Tik Tok. A series of EPs and support slots with the likes of Yungblud and My Chemical Romance followed – and that’s created some rather fervent expectations for The Mess We Seem To Make.

The time spent over these 12 tracks has been well invested. From the opening chord of the album, it’s clear that this is an album designed to sound enormous – this is very obviously a band with their sights set on the arenas of this world. They’re certainly not shy either, with lead singer Holly Minto casually dropping the F-bomb across the majority of the tracks, and singing with a refreshing honesty about the obsessional nature of sex and love.

Meaningless Sex is a decent introduction to the Crawlers sound – a big guitar anthem, full of crashing drums and grungy guitars, with some typically attention-grabbing lyrics from Minto (“You called me heroin, but heroin is never this sweet”), but it’s just a taster for things to come. Kiss Me is an early album highlight, a soaring, intense number with Minto on particularly impressive form – when she sings “can you love me how you fuck me, I’d sell my body for you to want me”, you’ll feel the shivers run down your spine.

The urgent, driving Would You Come To My Funeral is another highlight, a track that builds up a furious head of steam while Minto sings of mortality and regret (“there’s a seat laid out for you, I couldn’t pass without telling you that I miss you”), while Golden Bridge shows off the band’s quieter side, a beautiful piano ballad which builds steadily into an epic, heart-wrenching song about looking across the River Mersey while struggling with mental health issues. Just a line like “I paid the doctor so I could live happy, now I feel nothing at all” touches the heart in a very poignant way.

Come Over (Again), the song that first brought Crawlers to public attention, is also included, and sounds as stirring as ever, while tracks like Kills Me To Be Kind and What I Know Is What I Love are reminiscent of early Wolf Alice, smart, passionate alt-rock that sounds as good to wallow to alone than it does to dance in the moshpit to.

Nighttime Affair brings the album to a restrained, dramatic close: one that hints at even better things for Crawlers in the future. The Mess We Seem To Make is a remarkably confident, assured debut album – every inch of care and time that’s been lavished on it has obviously been well spent. Crawlers sound very much like a band on the cusp of some very big things.


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Crawlers – The Mess We Seem To Make