I must admit to being a little nervous about how I would find Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea. When I first saw the name I let out an internal groan. I imagined a band that would release a two-track EP, with two twenty minute long Mogwai-esque snore-fests. Luckily my fears were almost instantly put to rest when I was instead faced with five tracks, all no more than 3:01 long…phew.
My luck increased more when, instead of a pretensious two-note-a-thon, I instead got a really enjoyable three minutes of classy, dare I say, slightly anthemic rock. I can’t quite put my finger on it, I’m almost reminded of Adam Ant when he was actually good.
‘Eyes Turned Inwards‘ starts off very subtely, before blasting into some nice Slint sounding riffage. It’s very easy to overplay this kind of start/stop ‘call and response’ style of playing, luckily they use it sparingly as a nice interplay between the emotional highs and lows of the song writing. ‘One Hundred Yards Into the Desert‘ does the same, using the jagged guitars sparingly, giving preferential treatment to interesting song hooks, it reminds me a little of Sweep the Leg Johnny, sparing with early Montanna Pete.
‘You’ll Get Used to Me’ takes a more epic, slow-paced stance, replacing post-hardcore guitars with nice emotional build-ups, and decent howling (a rare thing). Finally, ‘Johnny Forger‘ takes an almost ‘this is what we’ve learnt so far’ approach, and blends all of the above into two minutes of really-good-song-writing-meets-spazzy-niceness.
Overall I was nicely suprised by this EP. It’s always good to hear a band take a potentially stale genre of post-hardcore, and make it sound new and exciting again; recomended.