Baldy Crawlers – ‘As Old as My Tongue’ EP

The As Old as My Tongue EP is a stellar new release from Baldy Crawlers, the California-based project of Martin Maudal. A compelling folk and debonair rock styling pairs with poetic lyrical introspection on the human experience, conjuring comparisons to Cass McCombs and Damien Jurado. The EP provides a strong emotional impact, offering a stirring sound alongside lyrics that speak to the human soul’s traversals through tumult and triumphs alike.

The role of music as a guide to humanity and empathy is explored on the EP, with the songwriting a reflection of an artist’s navigation through the human experience. A love for artistry is evident in both the songwriting and the instruments themselves. Maudal is also a talented builder of guitars and other instruments, under the moniker Maudal Musical Machines. In addition to featuring within these songs, Maudal Musical Machines have been showcased at many prestigious guitar shows throughout the world.

The opening track “Hate?” proves commanding in its depiction of inner turmoil, set alongside a bluesy folk starkness. Hatred seethes and guns are aimed, lyrically; “oh but I could not fire,” the vocals let out thereafter. A soldier appears thereafter, seemingly lost in the darkness of war. Despite their inner turmoil and stark belief that his soul may be lost, there’s a glimmer of hope expressed in the conviction that a return to home and solace is still possible: “Oh, but I swear he can still come home.” A moving, captivating opener, “Hate?” poetically emphasizes the role of one’s perseverance, humanity, and empathy in the quest to defeat negative, destructive aspects of the psyche.

A calmer disposition takes hold on “Thick Moon Paint,” with later twangy guitars adorning with a country-friendly warmness. The dual-vocal presence during the “I see you in thick moon paint,” refrain is thoroughly chilling, following lyrics that are suggestive of comfort and intimacy (“I’d sleep in your arms forever, and everything’d be alright.”) The ensuing EP finale, “Break the Chain Down” struts a debonair rock styling, as lyrics confidently strive with a title-touting conquest, eradicating loneliness and healing “the walking wounded.” The cathartic lyrics and suave rock production excels, capping off the stellar As Old as My Tongue EP with satiating impact.

You can buy and stream the EP on Bandcamp.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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