The Crooked Sound- “Lotus-eaters”
Listen to the EP here
If you’re active in the Connecticut hardcore scene, you’ve probably seen the name The Crooked Sound pop up quite a few times. Hell, if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve seen their name twice within the last few months in our concert reviews, which can be viewed here and here. Forming this year out of the ashes of Map the Mind, the band decided to take a much more metalcore approach toward their sound with a bit of a rock-n-roll vibe, sort of like what Every Time I Die does with metalcore and southern rock. This would come to a surprise for anyone who knew them as Map the Mind, a djent band in the vein of Volumes and Structures. The band has been playing quite consistently this year, from lineups stacked with local favorites such as Lucretia and Kidnapped, to bigger bands like Capsize and Born of Osiris. All of these shows, along with a few single releases, have been in order to promote the impending release of their debut project, Lotus-eaters.
I dig The Crooked Sound most when they take a hardcore approach to their sound. Tracks like “Mock” are so aggressive and punked out that it’s impossible not to want to mosh around and scream at the top of your lungs. It’s a perfect example of The Crooked Sound’s rock n roll take on hardcore and a template for what they should try to do more of in the long-run. This is also seen on tracks such as “Dizzy (My Worst Enemy)”, where the rock n roll influences may be more prevalent than the hardcore, but the breakdown at the end remains undeniably sick as fuck. When they play like this, The Crooked Sound succeed in making fun, mosh-worthy songs on both the rock n roll and hardcore ends of their spectrum.
All that said, a huge issue that I do have with this EP is that it is obvious the band is still trying to let go of what they did as Map the Mind. This can be seen on tracks like “Road Soda” and “Sick Spirits.” “Road Soda” sounds more or less like a Map the Mind demo, and “Sick Spirits,” while a song I dig for the most part, has these flashy parts that leave a kind of sour taste in my mouth. These moments also appear on tracks like “Nothing Is as it Seems,” which is a little too long and has a sung chorus that doesn’t fit very well with the rest of the EP. The clean vocals also appear on “The End of All Good Things Prt 1,” and feel just as awkward. Even the breakdown on “Mock,” my favorite track on the LP, is djent-y. These growing pains are to be expected, but it’s an issue the band needs to address before moving on.
The Crooked Sound’s talent cannot be ignored. They have an obvious passion for music, and there’s no reason anyone shouldn’t respect them for that, but they have a way to go in the studio before they match their live show, which is one of the best live bands in the local Connecticut scene. When they get there, I am certain that The Crooked Sound will be one of the biggest bands in the Connecticut hardcore scene, if not the biggest, but they’ll have to fully commit to The Crooked Sound to get there.
- Alex Brown