Crown Lands Channel Rush on Two New Songs

Take in the duo's "Context: Fearless Pt. 1" and "Right Way Back"

Photo: Lane Dorsey

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Mar 11, 2021

Last year, Crown Lands shared their love of Rush with Exclaim! by showing off two treasured record collection selections. Now, the Canadian outfit have taken their admiration to new heights on a pair of new songs.

Today, the duo of vocalist/drummer Cody Bowles and guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Kevin Comeau have shared singles "Context: Fearless Pt. 1" and "Right Way Back" through Universal Music Canada, both of which are full-circle moments in their fandom of the legendary Canadian trio.

While its title is already something of a nod to Rush's own "Fear" song trilogy, "Context: Fearless Pt. 1" was first demoed with Terry Brown, who produced every album by Rush from 1975's Fly By Night through 1982's Signals.

"They are well-educated on Rush," Brown told Rolling Stone of Crown Lands. "And there is definitely a likeness in some ways, but in more ways, they're nothing like Rush. The register that Cody likes to sing in is very reminiscent of Geddy [Lee] in his younger days. And certainly, some of the guitar riffs and the bass playing from Kevin, who also loves the old synths. But when you put them all together, it adds up to Crown Lands, and I think, something unique and special."

After reworking the tune on tour, the two would team with late-career Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz to record, meeting up not long after the world learned of the passing of Rush drummer and primary lyricist Neil Peart. Raskulinecz was in the producer's chair for both 2007's Snakes & Arrows and 2012's Clockwork Angels.

"When they showed up, I was pretty wrecked about that," Raskulinecz recalled to Rolling Stone. "We tipped our hats to Neil, we listened to some Rush, had some shots of whiskey in Neil's honour, and we moved forward and recorded."

The sessions with Raskulinecz also saw Bowles play pieces of a drum kit that Peart himself had gifted to the producer. The Raskulinecz-helmed "Right Way Back," written in tribute to Peart, is a song "about the feeling of trying to carry on from where your heroes left off," per Comeau.

"To have grown up with nothing but the purest adoration for this band, to have finally scaled the impossible summit together and sit at the table with our heroes is a humbling surreality unlike anything else," Bowles shared in a statement. "Working with these legendary producers-now-friends is something we hold near and dear to us. If life is a wheel, please let it spin."

Crown Lands released their self-titled debut album last summer. The Dave Cobb-produced effort recently netted the duo a pair of 2021 Juno Award nominations for Breakthrough Group of the Year and Rock Album of the Year.

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