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All Music Guide:
Taking a short break from the Gaslight Anthem in early 2011, frontman Brian Fallon teamed up with guitar tech Ian Perkins to form the Horrible Crowes, an Americana side project named after the Twa Corbies folk ballad. Inspired by Tom Waits, Nick Cave, and Mark Lanegan, the Horrible Crowes wrote slow-burning songs that were smokier and more stripped-down than the Gaslight Anthems punked-up anthems. Behold the Hurricane" introduced the duo's sound during the summer of 2011, followed in September by the Elsie LP.
The Horrible Crowes is a two piece project with lead singer and guitarist of The Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon and his guitar tech, Ian Perkins. It is one of Fallon's projects concurrently with The Gaslight Anthem, a band that he had formed in 2005.
Fallon announced its formation on January 20, 2011 on his blog, explaining that "the name comes from a poem called the "Twa Corbies", which means, "two crows". He added: "Check it out, it's a dark commentary on life. It's the darker side of soul music, it's slow, it slithers, and it's raw. At the same time, the melodies and pianos are a juxtaposition to the topic material because it's eerily soothing. I'm really proud of what's been coming out and we'll see how it goes, but it's in the works and it's heading for an actual record."
Fallon also said the group was going to do some touring, but nothing major like his other band The Gaslight Anthem does. He also assured his fans that this is his "for me" project, as he puts it and that Gaslight Anthem is still 'his baby'. Fallon said the Horrible Crowes will release a full length album in the future.
A preview of the track "Black Betty and the Moon" from the upcoming album was posted on YouTube on June 21, 2011.
The debut single of The Horrible Crowes single "Behold the Hurricane" was made available for streaming through RollingStone.com on July 13, 2011. A music video was released that features actor Joseph Mawle. On September 20, the video for "Behold The Hurricane" was uploaded to The Horrible Crowes website.
On September 1, 2011, Rolling Stone streamed the debut album Elsie in its entirety. The physical album was released on September 6, 2011 in the USA. The album was reported to be a departure from the sound and attitude of The Gaslight Anthem. Fallon, in describing the album, said: "As much as I have this fantasy in the Gaslight Anthem of being Bruce Springsteen, I also have this fantasy of being Tom Waits or Greg Dulli. These songs are very dark; they're like hymns for lonely people, it’s really a trip through a breakdown and that descent into madness and hopefully redemption." Fallon and Perkins will begin playing a limited number of shows in support of the album starting September 8.
On December 2, 2011, "Huffington Post" blogger Jon Chattman named "Elsie" the #2 album of 2011. He wrote, "Out of nowhere, this Gaslight Anthem (don't call it a) side project resonated with me so strongly. There's not a bad song on this."