Review by Andy Houghton for MPM
Alternative melodic hard rockers Crooked Shapes hail from Reading, UK, and comprise George Twydell on guitar and lead vocals, George ‘Ivesy’ Ives on bass and Craig Carlaw on drums.
Despite only being a three-piece, their sound comes across as much more expansive than this, with some huge riffs and thunderous bass grooves on offer.
The band have been performing since 2018 and, following a well-received debut EP ‘Fallout’ in 2019, they’re now ready to release their self-titled full-length album.
The album opens with ‘Fire’, a fine example of melodic mastery that shows what this band is all about. Although fundamentally hard rockers, they add elements of grunge and blues and then interweave some quirky time signatures to create a unique sound that grabs your attention from the get-go. This is well-exemplified by second track ‘Leave Me For Dead’, which uses rhythmic and melodic shifts to keep you constantly engaged.
‘Appetite’ is a little more mainstream but boasts some catchy riffs and a tidy solo, while the instrumental title track ‘Crooked Shapes’ takes things in a grungier direction, with fuzz and distortion galore, and with a repeating riff that becomes utterly hypnotic.
The grunge continues into ‘Chains In My Mind’, a slow tempo track with pensive lyrics underpinned by brooding, almost menacing instrumentals. This is all in keeping with the overall theme of the album, which explores the different stages of depression and grief, starting from anger/denial through to sadness, then acceptance and recovery.
The tempo picks up with ‘Fallout’, which also brings with it a shift into a more blues-oriented sound. ‘Rise Again’ lifts the pace and the mood even further – upbeat, and with the album’s best solo. Meanwhile ‘Fly’ does just that – a soaring track to life the spirit.
‘Don’t Look Back’ rounds things off by bringing us back to melodic rock. The longest track on the album at just over six minutes, it gives the band room to spread their wings and once again show us what they’re capable of, instrumentally and vocally.
All in all, it’s an excellent piece of work from a band who know how to bring different genres into their work to create something that’s bigger than the sum of its parts. A bit like the band itself, actually. A great album, and a band to watch.
George Twydell | Guitar, Lead Vocals
George ‘Ivesy’ Ives | Bass, Backing Vocals
Craig Carlaw | Drums, Backing Vocals
2.Leave Me For Dead
5.Chains In My Mind
9.Don’t Look Back
‘Crooked Shapes’ is released on November 19th, 2021