DEV CRAWFORD Delivers The‘Punishment Essay Volume III (Memento Mori)’
Punishment Essay Volume III (Memento Mori) was conceived by Dev Crawford after the sudden loss of his childhood friend Brian. Trying to get a handle on his grief, Dev's thoughts turned to looking back at his life, capturing memories of his past and perhaps looking towards the future with a reminder that you must be mindful that death is coming. The title is latin; 'Tempus Fugit Memento Mori', which translates as 'Time flies, be mindful of death' and was chosen as the album title before writing had even started.
Despite being a record very much about death, there are some very uplifting and energetic rock songs on the album, it being important to show that death is not just a bleak and terrifying occurrence but also a chance to take stock and become energised for the future.
Additional mastering services were provided by Machine the Producer in the USA and the work is phenomenal, a huge and dense sound that crashes through the speakers and cannot be forgotten long after the album has finished.
Track-by-track by Dev Crawford:
Opening with the blistering Born Beside The Sea which is a starry eyed account of growing up near the ocean in a town that offered no future for anyone, least of all some of it's weirdest inhabitants. A celebration of the bond that was shared by these outcasts and a fear that by leaving the town behind, he may have missed how important those days were to him.
Life Says No - Is a riotous and cathartic blast of rockabilly fueled punk rock fury. Revelling in the idea that no matter how hard you try, life can and often will simply say no. There is no shame in giving up, only in letting it win.
Sleep No More - A more introspective and expansive track, sounding close to progressive metal but with a keen melodic edge. Dev has lost two friends to sudden adult death syndrome, where you simply do not wake up and it cannot be medically explained. The claustrophobic middle 8 section is a reflection of the anxiety that attacks you in the darkest hours of the night when you should be resting.
Over It - It is simply impossible to be yourself online without making enemies. The worst thing you can do is worry about it, simply get over it and keep being yourself. Revel in making enemies, it means you are doing something right.
One More Story - An epic, constantly changing odyssey of a song, with so many sections, genres hopping all over the place and challenging you to try and keep up. A mix of Cheap Trick, motorhead, faith no more and pretty much anything else you can think of. This is already a firm fan favourite.
Nation Of Pigs - An incendiary assault on the British government and the vile nationalist filth that follow their hate filled ideology. "A bass riff that can reduce buildings to rubble" ...The accidental music reviewer. "This is a storming track and shows how Punishment Essay do not shy away from delicate subject matter".
Sickteen - A huge anthem of a track, looking back at simpler times when getting drunk and your favourite bands were the only thing that mattered. Under it's catchy surface, the song is as much about saying goodbye to those times than simply reminiscing.
Rockstar Infamy - Riff after riff after ********* riff. An onslaught directly aimed at several 'rockstars' dev has met on his travels through the industry and he does not mince his words about them.
Covered In Blue - A bittersweet but anthemic rock song, delicately reminding everyone to be their own hero, to not look to others in fixing themselves. They simply are enough.
Just An Enemy - A dark and threatening track, echoes of Mike Patton and Tool in the verses, simply stating that Dev is very aware of your true intentions. You may approach as a friend but he sees your knife in your hand.
The Outside - Recorded live in the studio, an absolute riot of a track and one of Dev's favourites! Often joking that he is "the best kept secret in british rock" is Dev's way of accepting his underground status. Being on the outside is something that doesn't change easily and perhaps that's the best way to be.
Is Nobody Listening? - A huge marauding riff and a slow pounding rhythm underpins this ferocious blast of anxiety and paranoia. A fear that perhaps no matter how much you scream, what if no one is listening?
There Is Nothing Left - The highlight of the album and a complete departure from the songs before it. Clocking in at over 8 minutes, intricate and delicate guitar work with harmonies dripping over them, before a build to a monumental cadence. It is simply the only way Dev could say goodbye to this record and hopefully capture the sound of his heart breaking.
01. Born Beside The Sea | 02. Life Says No | 03. Sleep No More | 04. Over It | 05. One More Story | 06. Nation Of Pigs | 07. Sickteen | 08. Rockstar Infamy | 09. Covered In Blue | 10. Just An Enemy | 11. The Outside | 12. Is Nobody Listening | 13. There Is Nothing Left
Punishment Essay Volume III (Memento Mori) | Released July 25th, 2023 via Sliptrick Records
Dev Crawford are:
Dev Crawford – Vocals/Guitars | Sean Nugent – Bass/Backing Vocals | Brandon Lee Bolt – Drums/Guitars/Backing Vocals