Russian retro rockers Scarecrow are doing things right on their second album, Scarecrow II. This record checks off all the boxes—proto-metal vibe, retro rock soul, early doom melodies, trad metal spirit, early British hard blues rock—but does so without sounding remotely forced or cliche. It’s a tall order, but this band pulls it off with grace here.
Decibel‘s own Sean Frasier liked the band so much he’s releasing Scarecrow II (as well as reissuing the band’s 2019 debut I for the first time in the USA) on his own Wise Blood Records tomorrow. And we like the record so much—from the proto-occult-boogie-doom of “Blizzard” to the incredible saxophone-led climax of closer “The Endless Ocean”—we’re giving you a full album premiere right here today.
“This album is about our most important wealth, which is inexorably and absolutely irrevocably diminishing with each passing moment—time,” says founding vocalist/guitarist/composer Artemis. “For most of life, the running of time feels like the flow of a quiet and calm river, but there are times when time shows its true, dispassionate and unforgiving face. At such moments, it runs like a deadly icy stream through your solar plexus, or rolls like monstrously huge waves of an endless dark and unknown ocean that sweeps away all the fragile and ridiculous dams we have built and mercilessly pulls us into its dark depths.”
“At such moments, you look at yourself in shock: yesterday evening, I was happy and carefree, playing with friends in the shade of spreading trees, and waking up this morning, I suddenly found that I had thousands of miles traveled behind me, a lot of accomplishments, past troubles, illnesses and deaths of loved ones, meetings and partings, gains and losses. What the hell happened?! When?! And the worst thing is that at such moments it seems that every year, time flows faster and faster, it remains less and less, and at the same time you really did not have time to do anything.”
“Of course, this goes away with time. A person, by virtue of his nature, cannot look into the eyes of infinity and the unknown for a long time. The sense of time is dulled, we return back to life. And from these meetings with inexorable infinity, we are obliged to take invaluable experience, steadfastly accept it and use it in the future. Because if we are here, then we still have some time.”
All of which—somehow—is to say that the album kills it. Preorder Scarecrow II here and check out the stream right here: