A hybrid of The Clash and Royal Blood, The Crooked 45 come crashing through with their debut EP, Heathens. The trio are strong in their messages throughout each track, and back it up with punk/rock influenced music.
‘Future Scholars’ is a standout track, speaking what many of us are thinking and feeling. Social media has taken a strong grasp on our lives – positive and negative. Because the negative has such a negative effect, it’s easily a focal point, and the band really hits it with the bridge of the track. “All I know is they’ve never felt so low. And I know it’s starting to show, future scholars trading knowledge for followers.” The heavy riffs get your heart racing and foot stomping.
‘Voices on the Radio’ has bass and guitar riffs reminiscent of early Arctic Monkeys. Another politically-charged track, the band are strong in writing with the chorus, “The voices on the radio, they’re telling me a lie; this voice isn’t mine. The voices on the radio, they’re telling me a lie; they’re getting in my head.” ‘Call the Police’ feels heavily influenced by Anti-Flag and other political punk bands. A quick and aggressive track, the trio know how to get to the point and make you remember it.
The guitar work is jazzy, fluid, and groovy. The rhythm section is driving and strong. The trio is fun to listen to, but unfortunately, are not subtle with their political views (which gives a nostalgic feel but also outdated with several listens), and as strong as they are musically, it doesn’t feel like something brand new.
With all this being said, the EP is a strong first impression from The Crooked 45. There is a lot of buzz about the band already, and as long as they keep doing what they are passionate about, the band can find a stable place among the UK rock circuit.
Heathens is out tomorrow, 10th April. Pre-save it to stream here.