Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea - 'What's There To Write About?' (UK Release: 2 May '11) // Words: Simon Opie
'What's There To Write About?' is the debut LP from Brighton's Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea, and it follows last year's 'I Watched It From the Roadside' EP, which I really liked. There were two main aspects to their music - one directly in the screamo tradition and another using more complex, gentler song structures. This album blends those two approaches but generally ditches the "gentler", to create songs that could be characterised as Kurt Weill meets Mclusky.
So 'What's There To Write About?' is not for the faint-hearted. At 26 minutes the album is not so long but it's quite intense and therefore something of a grower. Whilst initially I was disappointed not to find anything on the album like 'Time And Place' which was my favorite song from the EP, once I'd heard it through a few times, I got over that.
Overall, it's quite an angry - maybe disillusioned - record, and even the songs that start quietly, like opener 'Faults', soon boil over. 'It's The Same' shows how far they've come in a short time, complex rhythms, chiming guitar lines, heartfelt vocals - nicely done indeed. Other highlights are 'Other Places, Other People' and 'Hours In The Frame', but there's no filler.
It comes down to whether or not you like their approach, which is uncompromising and either artistically bold or financially foolhardy depending on your point of view. If I was a promoter, I'd get Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea together with The Rock Of Travolta and take them out on a world tour. We'd not make our fortunes but the audience would have a blast each and every night.
DOWNLOAD: Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea - Drawing Details by Undress To Win Press
Order 'What's There To Write About?' from Box Social Records. Pay what you want for the download at Bandcamp.