The band’s tenth full length record sees them pumping out a batch of tracks throbbing with heavy bass and drums, melodies are always there but often hidden within some dense (almost at times industrial sounding) distortion. This new record harks back to their earlier days; a less glossy finish means the sound is not as mainstream or straightforward sounding as some of their big records, but it really benefits from that. Rough edges, prominent bass and a slightly gloomy, moody atmosphere permeate every bar and give all the tracks a gritty, jagged edge.
On first listen, the album doesn’t really hit you between the eyes, but if you give it a second chance you might find that third and fourth listens sneak up on you without you really noticing; it’s a grower. The lyrics are unpretentious and affecting, the tunes are subtle but effective and the melodies pounded into you by guitar and vocals will not leave you alone, so you have to come back for more.
It’s amazing that ten records in this band can still be turning out gems like “Crooked Timber” on which they sound as fresh and relevant as they ever have. Tracks such as ‘Clowns Galore’ which has an insistent looped riff and gets you moving, exemplify this record; a shrill underlying guitar sound keeps you on edge but the melodic riff hooks you in. Look out for title track ‘Crooked Timber’ which is comfortingly 90s sounding, with fuzz and heavy bass wrapping you in a memory soaked dream state for five and a half minutes; ‘Somnambulist’ which is almost a pop song with not just a sing along chorus but verses too and the metal riffs at the start of the ten minute epic ‘Magic Mountain’ which quickly segue into a beautifully minimal, instrumental, swayable tune.