I first came across CROOKED SHAPES a couple of years ago at a local gig. I remember using the phrase if LED ZEPPELIN had Chris Cornell on vocals, which should give you an idea on what they sound like. I still stand by this statement, especially after listening to their anticipated self-titled debut album that is due out this Friday.
It wastes no time grabbing your attention with opener Fire, it takes you along for the ride whether you are ready for it or not. Vocalist/guitarist George Twydell explained in an interview this looks at dealing with consequences of bottling up anger for a long time; this is represented well through the raw riffs and authentic song writing. It’s a great way to open this debut.
The album contains a great selection of powerful songs that are honest and straight to the point. It explores the different stages of depression and grief starting from anger/denial right through to sadness then acceptance and recovery. Each song displays represents these different stages impeccably well, below are a few examples of what I mean.
Appetite has a funky feel to it. These funky beats and soaring melodies carry an important story and message how someone is doing. From what I understand from lyrics such as “anxiety is stopping me from reaching out to the crowd” and “I can’t shake this feeling, it don’t feel right”, it’s about experiencing intrusive thoughts for the first time. You know it doesn’t feel right but that fear stops you from opening up about what’s going on.
Chains In My Mind is a powerful track. In terms of song writing and music arrangements, for me this can be interpreted what it’s like living ill mental health and any kind of self-doubt. The doom/sludge type arrangements around the verses remind me of that brain fog someone can have when experiencing ill mental health. For me, the chorus is reminiscent of the brain fog clearing and you figuring out what’s going on in your mind. It also represents an acknowledgement of what’s happening. Lyrics such as “thoughts in my head spin around, why won’t they go away” and “set me free from these chains in my mind” do well to portray this feeling.
Rise Again represents that important moment, accepting what’s going on and starting the road to recovery. The feelings of freedom and…well rising again can be heard through the uplifting guitar riffs and poignant lyrics such as “can’t swallow my pride, even if I try”. This is a track that will go down well at live shows across the board, it allows you to fully immerse into the music whilst relating to what’s being said on this track.
It ends with empowering closer Don’t Look Back. The bouncy rhythms and riffs work well to deliver inspiring lyrics such as “hold yourself strong stand tall” and “don’t let these demons feed on you”.
CROOKED SHAPES have delivered a strong debut consisting of mind-blowing guitar work, soaring vocals and powerful messages that we can all relate to. They are a trio that you need to be keeping your eyes and ears out for, this album is solid proof of this.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Crooked Shapes will be released 19th November 2021.
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