Post-Hardcore isn’t a genre that is thrown at bands so readily these days, with almost a dated stigma tagged to it. The problem is there is no other way to describe Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea. The raw aggression and energy befits the Brighton outfit and nods toward the beautiful chaos of At The Drive-In and Swedish outfit Refused. With a couple of successful EP’s under their belt, the full-length, What’s There To Write About?, delivers more throaty vocals and fuzzy guitars.
They certainly do not lack the effort and energy of a group of young men with such a moniker to carry, throwing their weight behind opener ‘Faults’ with the eased ferocity of The Bronx. It is clear from the beginning however, that the guitars will play nothing more than second fiddle to vocals and drums in the mix. In truth this is a shame, because at times a record like this deserves face-melting guitars as well as the brilliant – at times – bone-shattering vocals. The mumbled, fuzzy guitars do rear their heads momentarily as they race away into frantic riff and time changes in ‘Drawing Details’ akin to Pulled Apart By Horses.
Some of the best moments of the record come through their more reserved tracks, ‘Plans’ and ‘Chances Scattered’ that ebb their way into grungey fueled highs, whilst holding the verse’s refrain beautifully. This is also where we see the best of CMCS, their trump card almost. They understand the perfect moment to wake a song from its Foals like slumber into a cacophony of screams and discordance. Being loud and quiet in all the right places is harder than you might think, songs can create or lose all momentum in these moments and CMCS use it perfectly throughout.
A small movement of hardcore bands is stirring throughout the UK and CMCS are pushing their way to the front. The almost live sound to the album draws you in, feeling like they are right in the room with you and ready to cause mayhem.
What’s There To Write About? is assured, aggressive and brutal, but it never quite lets go to cause the kind of devastation that it frequently threatens.
Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea – Drawing Details
What’s There To Write Home About? is available now on pay-what-you-like download by clicking here.
A CD version will be released on May 2nd.