The Cripple Creek Fairies
War Amps and Metal Arms
Catch and Release / Transistor 66
Ten years into their existence, Calgary's Cripple Creek Fairies have seen fit to drop two separate full-length offerings of pure rock fury concurrently. War Amps and it's twin record, Metal Arms, continue the saga of one of Calgary's best, but criminally ignored and overlooked rock ‘n’ roll bands. Both records have strong unifying themes of deft melodic songwriting sensibilities mated against a backdrop of heavy guitar-driven rock, but there is certainly a different feel to each record. The instantly catchy War Amps is the day to Metal Arms' hypnotically heavy night. War Amps is a classic rock record in the kindest sense of the term. Not only does it feature some of the best hooks and licks these flight helmet-clad no-goodniks have ever come up with, it also includes choice covers of the Holland-Dozier-Holland howler "Leaving Here" and the Nervous Eaters' "Loretta." Metal Arms is an unabashed riff clinic that is the decidedly heavier outing. The impression given by Metal Arms is that it represents the future direction of the band through the album's lyrical and musical tone. The musicianship on both records is excellent, but never comes across as workman-like, largely because the songs are original enough that nothing ever really sounds staid. These two records are two of a planned five-release year from the Fairies in 2009. If the other material is half as good as War Amps and Metal Arms, then we are in for a total rock bonanza this year courtesy of the Cripple Creek Fairies.