Rolling Stone



“ALL THE BEST songs have Mellotron intros,” declares Kevin Comeau, bassist, guitarist, and keyboardis­t for the young Canadian rock duo Crown Lands. He and his bandmate, drummer-singer Cody Bowles, won considerab­le acclaim (including a

Juno Award for Breakthrou­gh Group of the Year) for the Zeppelin-y blues rock on their Dave Cobb-produced 2020 debut album.

But they’ve already embraced a bold new direction: With the unabashed Rush homage of their recent eight-minute single, “Context: Fearless Pt. 1,” and other in-progress tracks, they’re going where few recent bands (and fewer two-pieces in any era) have dared to tread, embracing full-on progressiv­e rock.

“When we started Crown Lands, we were so sure that we were going to do more blues-leaning, straight-ahead, commercial songs,” says Bowles. “Over time, that prog nerdiness just leaks out, and we couldn’t help it.” The two musicians love Genesis and other prog staples, but they originally bonded over their shared worship of Rush: Comeau has the Starman from the 2112 album cover tattooed on his rear end, and they worked on “Context” with Terry Brown and Nick Raskulinec­z, Rush producers from different eras. Just as Rush expanded the possibilit­ies of what a three-piece band could sound like, Crown Lands are hoping to reimagine the rock duo — so Comeau plays Moog Taurus synth-bass pedals with his feet sometimes, just like Geddy Lee. At the same time, they’re not just retreading rock’s past. Bowles, who is of Mi’kmaq heritage and identifies as two-spirit, using they-them pronouns, focuses many of the group’s lyrics on the struggles of indigenous people.

Comeau grew up as the only Jewish student at his school in a small Canadian town, and the two musicians’ shared experience as outsiders brought them close. “This year has really taught us that the most important thing about being in a band is being friends,” says Comeau.

 ??  ?? Bowles (left) and Comeau
Bowles (left) and Comeau

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