Crooked Colours – Vera (Album Review)
“I took off from Paradise and landed in the Jungle”
The opening lines of Crooked Colours’ debut perfectly describes the feel and vibe of the record. The album gives us an awesome blend of dance and melodic electronica, with vocals that have a calm but eery tone to them. The entire record becomes this embodiment of taking wild sounds and taming them into a great record.
The production and instrumentals throughout the records entirety keep offering something different but all still remain coherent and catchy. A big standout is the drumming, especially on tracks like Vera and Plymouth, with the fast hi-hats being used in a great way to build the songs up. The guitar used in the tracks Flow, Hope You Get It (feat. Ivan Ooze) and Show Me are what add to the melodic feel of the instrumentals on this record. The smooth sound brilliantly accompanies the electronic synths and wavy sounds that appear throughout the whole album. The way piano and synths get worked in and around the record adds to the more dance vibe side of the album, coming through on tracks like Come Back to You, where we get a more bass infused use of them at the start, but by the build up and the hook a lovely use of brighter synths comes into the spotlight. And on the track All Eyes starting out with actual piano but by the hook a layer of some semi-distorted synths comes through to top everything off. The whispery, pitch altered vocals samples that can be found throughout the majority of record really attributes to the attention to detail Crooked Colours put into this record. The only gripe or nitpick I found I had with the instrumentals was on the track Shine On, not really being sure if the, almost Flume-like, wavy sound on the hook didn’t fit the sound of the album completely.
The singing from front man Philip Slabber completely fits the mould for this style of music that Crooked Colours are delivering for the entire LP. For Slabber stays in a mid range that has an echoey tone to it, coming to the forefront more on the album’s closer Perfect Run. So when it comes to the singing here, there’s nothing to really fault. Though it does make Hope You Get It the most interesting of the tracks with up and coming Aussie rapper Ivan Ooze doing all the vocal work. The easy going and nasally tone of Ooze’s voice achieves an impact on the song I feel Slabber couldn’t deliver.
In terms of lyricism goes with Vera, they all seem quite simplistic though at the same time, quite a bit of depth or narrative behind them that has stemmed from Slabber or other members of the trio. There’s also just some catchy lines that pop up throughout, the main one that I found being the hook on Show Me, with the line “can you show how to move, can you show me how to move and shuffle”.
All in all a great album from Crooked Colours that leaves me keen to hear what they come through with next.
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- Blake Luxford