Uncut - p.783 stars out of 5
-- "[W]ith the title track's woozy boogie and 'The Past Sure Is Tense' displaying a pleasantly lolloping industry."
Personnel: Don "Captain Beefheart" Van Vliet (vocals, harmonica, soprano saxophone, prop horn); Jeff Moris Tepper, Gary Lucas (acoustic & electric guitars, slide guitars); Richard Midnight Hatsize Snyder (viola, marimba, bass); Eric Drew Feldman (synthesizer); Cliff R. Martinez (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Warner Brothers Recording Studios, North Hollywood, California.
Captain Beefheart/Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band: Don Van Vliet (vocals, harmonica, soprano saxophone, horns, Chinese gong); Jeff Moris Tepper (guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, steel guitar); Gary Lucas (guitar, slide guitar, National guitar); Eric Drew Feldman (Fender Rhodes piano, bass synthesizer); Hatsize Snyder (marimba, bass guitar, background vocals); Cliff Martinez (drums, washboard, percussion).
After returning to active touring in 1980 on the heels of DOC AT THE RADAR STATION, Captain Beefheart recorded this final album with the last incarnation of The Magic Band. In part constructed from pieces which weren't recorded for its predecessor, as well as numbers which had origins dating back ten years, ICE CREAM FOR CROW is a strong work. It benefits from the seemingly easy interplay of the band members--no small feat given the intricately interlocking rhythms which are a prime feature of The Magic Band's sound in every version ever assembled.
The world-weary photo of Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) which adorns the cover accurately reflects the mood that pervades most of the songs. It comes as no surprise that immediately following the release of this album he retreated to the embrace of nature and the desert, where he focused his energies solely on painting, permanently abandoning composition and performance.