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Crooked Flower

Into the Light

Review by Gary Hill

The sound of this act is quite unusual. They mix things that don't normally get mixed, and make it work really well. You'll hear sounds ranging from progressive rock to reggae, blues, psychedelia and more in the instrumental arrangements. Perhaps the most prominent reference in that regard, though, is jam band sound. The vocals, though often bring a soulful power and punch to it. Still, singer Angie Dang also shows that she can play it mellower and gentle at times, too. Honestly, this might make my list of best of 2018 releases, but given how packed the running has become, it's not a given. I would bet it will make some such lists, even if it misses on mine.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Dancing
Jam band sounds meet progressive rock on this number. The vocals bring a bit of a soulful, pop oriented vibe to the proceedings. There is definitely a bit of a Grateful Dead vibe to this number.
Search Warrant Blues
This time around space rock, prog and psychedelia merge on the opening. The vocals come in over a very mellow and so classy arrangement. It gets more energized further down the road with a bluesy rock element blending with space rock, psychedelia and more.
Freedom
More hard rocking, there is a blues rock element on hand here. This cut is quite psychedelic in nature and a bit modern in terms of the production. That's the one part that doesn't work that well for me. Still, it's only a minor complaint as this cut stands tall despite that.
Let You Go
Weird psychedelic textures start this. The cut works to more of a psychedelic meets prog rock groove from there. It gets more rocking as it moves along. There is a definite bluesy factor on this cut, as well.
Around and Around
There is a lot of reggae built into the opening here. Jam band textures are also at play. This is an energetic and accessible cut that has a killer vibe to it. A mellower section mid-track has some seriously bluesy textures. I love the guitar fills in that movement. The reggae comes back with a vengeance after that. This cut earns a parental advisory for the lyrics.
10 Million Seeds
Another that starts with a full on reggae jam, this is classy stuff. There are some decidedly trippy elements at play, but this is the most purely reggae thing here. It is also one of my favorites.
Falling
Drums lead this one out, and they take us into some killer jam band styled territory from there. This is one of the harder rocking pieces here. Some mainstream pop rock also emerges on this tune.
Own World
Cool jazz sounds begin this thing. There is a bluesy edge to it. As this rocks more the blues elements really shine and take control. I dig the guitar soloing on this piece a lot. It's a great way to end things in style.
 
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