Saturday 16 July 2022

Crowning - Funeral Designs

Labels: Zegema Beach Records/Tomb Tree

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 14 Feb 2017


1. Funeral Designs

2. Velleity

3. Swivet

4. Exposure

5. Buddy Dryer

My first introduction to US screamo band Crowning was in 2018 when I reviewed their split with Swallow's Nest (by the way, I'll have a sweet Swallow's Nest related post coming towards the end of July that might interest those of you reading this, so stay tuned!). They've been pretty busy of late too having recently released a split LP with Naedr, but I'm going backwards in their discography today to the EP that started it all off, Funeral Designs. It was originally released on tape (via a couple of pressings) and digital formats via Zegema Beach Records in Feb 2017, before receiving a repress through Tomb Tree in 2020. 

We’re about to enter a heatwave in the UK (one lasting a mere three or four days I might add!). It’s pretty warm already this morning and because of the advice telling us to stay inside to avoid the worst of the heat, I’ve already jammed me some AFI and Primitive Man. Now it’s the turn of Crowning and their debut EP, Funeral Designs. The EP’s title-track ‘Funeral Designs’ instantly hits a high gear with noisy and heavy screamo/hardcore. The sound is very bass-heavy and the breakdown at the midway point is properly attention grabbing.

After an initially heavy start, ‘Velleity’ settles into a melodic intro passage that leads to infectious screamo that’s as intricate as it is emotive. Crowning have become a staple of modern day post-hardcore and it’s easy to see that trajectory after listening to this. Some of the best songs are the ones that come and go in a flash, like ‘Swivet’ does. It’s sub sixty-second form means that it’s allowed to be angry and violent, yet Crowning keep it controlled as well. 

From the intense to the dramatic now as ‘Exposure’ sees the band change direction slightly with a song of two halves. The first half being instrumental and clean, while the second half is full-on again. The way the song transitions only adds to the sense of anticipation as it explodes. EP closer ‘Buddy Dwyer’ is where Crowning put every instrumental/vocal texture from Funeral Designs together and leave you with a brooding, menacing song that swirls around you. It gives you a feeling of transcendence. 

Set time aside to listen to Crowning’s entire discography if you can, starting with this EP. In a world where instant gratification is everywhere, give yourself time to escape. Finally, no I haven’t already got heatstroke, I just really dig this release!

For fans of: Youth Funeral, Lentic Waters, Altar Of Complaints, La Luna & Respire.

You can stream and purchase Funeral Designs digitally here:-

Tape copies from both Zegema Beach Records and Tomb Tree are sold out.

Crowning -

Zegema Beach Records -

Tomb Tree -

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