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Crooked Mouth - Crooked Mouth CD (album) cover

CROOKED MOUTH

Crooked Mouth

 

Symphonic Prog

3.09 | 16 ratings

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tghdrums
4 stars This is an introduction to the world of Crooked Mouth music. It's melodious textures integrated into a somewhat stifled hard rock format are pleasing to the ear and results in a surprisingly addictive album. Having been lucky enough to hear some of the demo tracks from their forthcoming follow-up,a Hold In The Sun, I can safely say that the next album will blow this completely out of the water, however that is not to say this isn't worth a listen - merely that this band are getting better and deserve far more exposure than they've had.

The first full track, Strange Days, is preceded by the album's short intro, Crossing The Rubicon. An evocative and gentle song, Strange Days reminds me of Barclay James Harvest. The beautiful instrumental section at the end weaves strings and piano amongst the guitar and drums but I can't help feeling it cries out for an extended guitar solo.

Mass Driver II is a more upbeat effort and the first track to introduce female backing vocals. This gives it a folk-rock sound similar to All about Eve and Mostly Autumn. The presence of a guitar and hammond solo establish this track as a rock song and the double bass drumming on the outro confirm this.

Ocean & Sky begins with a Peter Gabriel era Genesis intro and continues with the early 70's rock sound. Again some beautiful backing vocals supplied by Eilidh Swanson mix the melodic with the harder edge. Some greater stuff from drummer Tony Hodge here.

Raindance is possibly the best track on the album and displays the mature lyric-writing capabilities of songwriter Ken Campbell. Vocalist Kenny Haig sounds suitably weary for the subject matter of this atmospheric number. Keyboardist Simon Ellis features on piano confirming the level of talent with this band.

Acrobat and Time & Again show the great compositional arrangement and performance aspects of Ken Campbell's music. A powerful song that introduces the "big" button on the drums. You feel like you could float on the huge waves of keyboards on this beautiful track. The flute played by Ali Wilson compliments the atmosphere of this song.

Time & Again (Erosion) marks a return to a more rocky sound. Again nicely constructed with some excellent piano/guitar interplay and the trademark backing vocals and ebow.

Last Call For Curtain Trips is wonderful, with a slow lead guitar again using Ken Campbell's weapon of choice: the ebow. An elegant piano and spacey keys plays against the backdrop of a light, high-pitched acoustic guitar loop.

I love this album but it loses a star on the production - a shame. 20% of the proceeds go to Sight Savers International in Africa so there's a reason to buy this as well as the fact that it's great music.

tghdrums | 4/5 |

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