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Crooked Mouth biography
Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2001

CROOKED MOUTH is a studio project of the Scottish singer-songwriter Ken CAMPBELL, who had gathered a number of little-known Edinburgh-area musicians to perform his material for the 2003 self-titled independent release. Campbell has also released three independent solo albums. He describes his motivation as being "tired of seeing quality rock music playing second fiddle to chart-driven, designer pop", and the resulting sound shows a reflective, well-crafted approach to musical composition.

The band is made up largely of part-time musicians, with various work and life commitments preventing the band from touring extensively, and leading to considerable turnover in its lineup. Lead vocalist Kenny Haig lent a confident tenor to the band on their debut with a voice that sounded as much like NEIL DIAMOND as anything else, but he departed in 2004 for Prague and is currently with the Indie-rock band ARMS AND THE BOY. Pianist Simon Ellis left to pursue his performing career and was replaced by multi-instrumentalist Alison Mitchell. And bassist Mike McCann joined the band in 2005 to lend a hand in a new studio release planned for 2007.

Campbell claims largely traditional progressive influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to Gabriel-era Genesis, Rush, Pink Floyd, and Jethro Tull, but with only small hints of these bands being detectable in the music. Instead, the band's sound borders at times on contemporary folk and sometimes Indie, particularly where acoustic guitar, Chapman stick, and flute are used heavily. At other times the band kicks up for a more contemporary rock feel. Comparisons to the DECEMBER PEOPLE, maybe CRYPTIC VISION or even SMILE EMPTY SOUL at times, and FARPOINT are not a stretch.

CROOKED MOUTH are clearly more a labor of love than a anything else. All members of the group have other interests and occupations, and the band rarely plays live, or even records for that matter, and since twenty percent of the proceeds from their album sales go to Sight Savers International whose mission is to work for the prevention of blindness they seem to not be in this for the money.

This band deserves consideration for a place in the Archives for their thoughtful, mature sound and rich, artistic compositions, as well as their thought-provoking lyrics.

Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

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CROOKED MOUTH discography

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CROOKED MOUTH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.09 | 16 ratings
Crooked Mouth
3.35 | 17 ratings
Hold In The Sun
3.00 | 14 ratings
One Bright Midnight

CROOKED MOUTH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CROOKED MOUTH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CROOKED MOUTH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 One Bright Midnight by CROOKED MOUTH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.00 | 14 ratings

One Bright Midnight
Crooked Mouth Symphonic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars UK band CROOKED MOUTH is led by composer and musician Ken Campbell, and is a venture that has been in existence in multiple forms ever since 2001 and with three full length albums to their name so far. "One Bright Midnight" is the most recent of these, and was released through the presumed private label Moon Brother Music at the start of 2015.

A fairly light and elegant variety of progressive rock that is paired off with harder edged sequences and occasionally full songs taking on this firmer sound as well are the key aspects of this album as I experience it. Those fond of neo-progressive rock taking on an occasional harder edged sound appears as something of a key audience for this production, and then especially those who also favor occasional servings of quirkier progressive rock with more of an art rock spirit as an ongoing feature. A production with something of a niche appeal, as I regard it, and one that will most likely be cherished by those in this specific niche.

 Crooked Mouth by CROOKED MOUTH album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.09 | 16 ratings

Crooked Mouth
Crooked Mouth Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Scottish band from Edinburgh, set up in 2000 with guitarist Ken Campbell being its undisputed leader and main songwriter.During April of the following year recordings for the band's debut begun at Sound Cafe Studios, involving singer Kenny Haig, bassist Chris Stenhouse, keyboardist Simon Ellis and drummer Tony Hodge as regular band members, although Alison Mitchell on flute, Eilidh Swanson on backing vocals and Lynne Campbell on additional keys helped throughout.The recordings were finished in May 2003, followed by a private release of Crooked Mouth's debut, carrying the band's name as a title.

Although the band is listed as a Prog act in various sources related to Progressive/Art Rock, their debut has little to do with the movement.This is pleasant melodic and straightforward Rock music with more Indie than progressive influences and the only acts coming to mind are Hogarth-era MARILLION, concerning its poppy tunes throughout, or RIVERSEA's and COSMOGRAF's early efforts.The vibe of the album is optimistic, offering catchy and easy-listening material with decent guitar leads and solos and limited contribution by keyboards (with some Hammond organ present as well) and piano.Instrumental passages are out of the question, most of the material is vocal-based with lots of rhythmic parts and typical guitar explosions, while a couple of melancholic ballads are thrown in for good measure.Compositionally the tracks are fine and tight with good vocals, memorable moments and a fair amount of dynamics, but instrumentally the album comes as a rather flat and one-dimensional production with electric and acoustic guitars being the primary driving forces from the first to the last minute.The long ''Acrobat'' seems the be the most interesting piece, despite being also the calmest one.Very nice, emotional vocals, folk-tinged flutes around and orchestral keyboards result a quite nice long composition, that eventually shows some potential.

''Crooked Mouth'' is not really representitive of the band's talent.If you enjoy catchy Rock music, torn between emotion and music passion, this should offer some nice spins.But the lack of intricate moves and the poppy flavors around are making this work a forbidden listening for fans of demanding Progressive Rock...2.5 stars.

 Hold In The Sun by CROOKED MOUTH album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.35 | 17 ratings

Hold In The Sun
Crooked Mouth Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Well crafted prog rock from Scotland. This is a studio project and not a proper band. This according to the biography at PA. I am sure that's right. The music itself is pretty symphonic. But the first reference that comes into my mind is Frost*. Then The Tangent.

The music as I said is pretty symphonic, but with a large indie rock and neo-prog feeling. There is no references to the golden age of symphonic prog here (the 1970s). Neither do I find any references to the likes of Yes, Genesis et al. The sound is ultra modern and have a cold, digital feeling. There is a lot of sound effects here and mordern gizmos. It is obvious this is not a touring band. It is rather a studio project. The first five songs are OK before the album runs into a bit of a studio-gizmos mine field where the sounds is dominating and the melodies has taken a back seat. But the opening five songs are great with a lot of mood and tempo changes. Guitars and keyboards are well used here. Even some metal riffs can be detected. But the main mood is almost a Pink Floyd mood with subtle references to The Flower Kings too. But the songs are not as symphonic as Roine Stolt & Co.

The quality is good throughout. The first five tracks are good before the album nosedive into a studio gizmos minefield. I kinda like this album. But it is not a classic album by any means. Just a good album. I hope they continue to release more albums because they may come up with a masterpiece one day.

3.25 stars

 Crooked Mouth by CROOKED MOUTH album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.09 | 16 ratings

Crooked Mouth
Crooked Mouth Symphonic Prog

Review by 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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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