The music in this demo is essentially rock. It is highly reminiscent of early R.E.M. tinged with more agressive guitar riffing (not like the kind seen in Monster, but more in the classic rock vein), especially in the songs on the first side. There are a few people who believe that "Alternative" is simply a name invented by major labels and MTV for straight-forward rock in order to make it more appealing to the young and easily-impressionable masses. But when I first heard the word used, it was used to apply to the music made by bands like R.E.M., The Rembrandts, and The Go-Betweens, who had a distinct sound that wasn't quite like rock, but not like Top-40 pop either. The Hooded Crow possess such a sound that defines the word as a legitimate genre in music. The word that best describes their music is College Rock. The lead guitar work and songwriting is excellent. It's good stuff.
I'm fairly impressed with this disc. I had earlier received a demo tape from The Hooded Crow which was recorded on a 4-track, and while I generally liked it, I didn't think it was terribly different than most of the alternative/college rock sound that is out there today. However, this CD has changed my mind. Previously, I compared to them groups like R.E.M., and now I'd compare them to groups like the Black Crowes and Deep Purple. That is, their music rocks a lot harder. While most of the songs are similar in composition to the ones on the demo tape I received, there are a few remixes and the mastering process seems to have brought out an hard edge in the band. The tunes On Your Behalf and Your Love alone make the album worth getting.