Crown Lands

Crown Lands

This Canadian duo doesn’t disguise its Rush fanaticism. The obvious parallel is Greta Van Fleet, and what that quartet did for Led Zeppelin, Crown Lands does for Rush. On the 18-minute “Starlifter: Fearless Part II,” guitarist/bassist Kevin Comeau and drummer/vocalist Cody Bowles time-travel to the Hemispheres era for a complex, spacey (and quite impressive) suite. The aggro-bass lines and soaring crescendo of “Context” are more evidence of their knack for evoking all things Lee, Lifeson, and Peart.

Both players execute long, dizzying pieces while handling multi-instrumental chores, such as bass pedals, synthesizer, and flute. Comeau – often using a guitar/bass doubleneck – delivers chorus-heavy 12-string, fierce Rick-bass tones, and snarling solos throughout. Reminiscent of “Red Barchetta,” the cut “Dreamer of the Dawn” is another FM-ready anthem replete with arpeggio-heavy chords and Bowles’ treble-booster vocals. Conversely, “Penny” shows off Comeau’s open-tuned acoustic fingerstyle.

With Neil Peart gone and Rush unlikely to reunite, Crown Lands fills a niche for the prog faithful. While the twosome doesn’t quite possess the instrumental virtuosity of Canada’s greatest trio, you have to admire their skill, vision, and sheer bravado – they squarely nail it. Like the old cassette ad, “Is it live – or is it Memorex?”

This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

No posts to display