The curtain rises and then falls away, and an enveloping electric guitar, drums and a searingly vibrant wall of sound forms a crescendo of sorts before your very ears. This is the start of “The Lanes”, the single and the title track of the EP by south-east of England band, The Crooked Kings – A sonic explosion that serves as a perfect springboard into the heart of this EP. The band can shift in an instant between the pulse-pounding rock of the ambitious “NH8”, to the more alternative “Broken Carousels”.
Perhaps the most outstanding thing about The Crooked Kings is their seamless blend of vigorous electric riffs, sprawling melodies, and the whirling, muscular guitars which create an interwoven mash without so much as a hiccup. At first glance, it seems like fairly typical indie rock, but upon further listening, the enchantingly complex arrangements begin to filter itself fully into your brain. This is music that wants to launch the next rock revival, and take the world by storm.
The vocals are compellingly husky, surrounded by carefully structured cavernous explorations that move with natural ease from captivatingly dark, gorgeous indie rock to roaring whirlwinds of deep, alternative rumblings. The chorus hooks are maniacally compelling – a huge hose of melody, with a suction set to stun the indie rock ear into quivering submission.
This is jangling guitar rock with an explosive power. The Crooked Kings have a sort of grippingly dark beauty set in edgy, memorable melodies that build toward epic soundscapes, embracing the listener with powerfully warm tentacles of comfortably staggering vocal force. Like the best times in life, “The Lanes” EP is sweet, it’s dangerous, and you won’t want it to go away.
This band deserves the fame that so many useless bands receive in their place. If you know only one song in their catalog, let it be “The Lanes”. This song by no means is defining, or the best song in their repertoire or on the EP. That would be like saying that the Mona Lisa is Leonardo Da Vinci’s best work. “The Lanes” just happens to be a lucky combination of everything this band does so well – catchy melodies, roaring guitars, and intense, emotional atmospherics that blend perfectly throughout their tracks.
Keep an eye on The Crooked Kings, ladies and gentleman. I would be greatly surprised if they managed to put a single, EP or album out that failed to irrevocably influence your soul. If you’ve always felt a little jealous of other generations’ rock music, now you don’t have to anymore. You have a modern band you can focus on – The Crooked Kings!