EP REVIEW: Crooked Revival – ‘Back To Freedom’


Crooked Revival do ‘classic heavy rock’ heavy on the blues, big big guitars, screaming solos and vocals at the top of the singer’s voice. Look, full disclosure here (to coin a phrase) this is the stuff I listened to in my teens – more years ago than I care to disclose to be honest – it’s the kind of rock I loved, and still love; and Crooked Revival do it right, so right.

The track ‘Back To Freedom’ is your classic classic rock song (if you get what I mean). Huge guitar riff, that riff dropping out for the vocals’ thing. This is blues rock at its most raw and raucous. But wait, the more I listen to this the more I hear a touch of Southern Rock somewhere down in the sound.

I asked my friend – who’s also of a certain age – and he said that it sounded a bit like a really raw sounding Whitesnake track or a really heavy Bad Company track. Got to agree with that, but then again it doesn’t. It sounds like we’d like to remember that music sounding, and this goes for the three tracks on this EP.

Anyway, back to the track. I can’t not mention the solo. This is not an in yer face solo, it’s a smash you in the face solo. There will be injuries.

There’s something of the heavy southern rock about ‘Taking Too Long’ (your classic heavy southern rock band of the 80s is Blackfoot). Now what this genre does is to take that southern rock sound and meld it with heavy rock; so you’re going to get a mix of the two.

And mix it up this track does. The heavy rock is grindingly heavy but the vocal sections come with southern swing. And bloody hell is it good, so good.

And now for the big epic track ‘Something More’. This is something of a builder. It goes through so many sounds it’s jaw-dropping. It starts with something electric folk, takes a dive into a somewhat Eastern inspired riff with soulful vocals. Throws in a solo that’s going to cut you down at the knees. It’s the very epitome of the big classic rock track but at the same time it isn’t.

I’m going to explain that last comment. Although I describe the tracks on this EP as classic rock, it’s not a carbon copy of 70s and 80s rock because it’s picked up things from then to now; things that fit in, like the heavier Grunge bands, the funky/soulful rock of Lenny Kravitz, odd bits of grinding rock. And if I was inclined I could write it that way round. What I’m saying is that while it may remind you of music from back then, it’s very much music of today.

The\ one thing that classic heavy rock does need is spot-on playing, and the playing on these songs is astounding; there is simply not one thing that you can point to as wrong.The vocals are fantastic, some of the best rock vocals I’ve heard in a long time.

The song writing is great, yep the words are rock song words in style but there’s not a cliche ridden bunch of words. And the tracks are out together in ways that hit you with surprises, the unexpected.

Crooked Revival are making some of the best heavy rock I’ve heard in a long long time. The three songs on this EP are simply not enough, they’re merely a teaser of what must be coming. If you like you’re rock heavy and uncompromised, this is for you.

This rocks, it rocks big big time. Play loud as you dare, fuck no play it loud enough to disturb your street.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.