Crooked Saint – Distinctive Aussie Roots

Having released their debut EP “Every Angry Inch” in March and followed it up with their November released EP “Sweating Bullets”  is Victorian band Crooked Saints. I only just came across them and given my instant like will provide a rundown of both EPs.

Whilst perhaps being best described as having a foot in both the rock and roots camps, the band manage to really nail the dark side of roots exploring fights, guns and bars. Whilst musically there isn’t much that makes the band special compared to any other of the rockier roots bands, it is the vocals and lyrics of Tim Wheatley that make this EP such a great listen.

Wheatley has a very distinct Australian accent that comes across in his singing, which combined with his constant references to Australian culture allows you to really relate to the themes and stories told in each song. “Overcrowded Bar” is a great ballad that emphasises Wheatley’s storing telling ability. It uses faded vocals and haunting lyrics to describe the nature of a dodgy inner city bar in such depth and chilling clarity you can’t help but feel like your at the bar watching the song play out in front of you.

“Kick the Habit” explores similar grungy themes to that of ‘Overcrowded Bar”, with the added bonus of ACDC references. Regardless it is quite catchy and really gets your fingers clicking, which can also be said for the title song, “Every Angry Inch”.

The November released EP “Sweating Bullets” follows much the same themes as in “Every Angry Inch”, with rock track  “Lazy Bones” and frighteningly emotive number “Sweating Bullets” maintaining that quintessentially Australian sound. The major difference between the EPs is in the track, “Man in Waiting”, where Wheatley tones the negative imagery down slightly, and hits a happier more rootsy groove with banjos, guitars and the good old harmonica.

Overall I loved the haunting imagery that each one of Crooked Saint’s songs evoked, and it was nice to see a different albeit it darker side to roots music from the normal chilled country and nature references. I’m sure that we will see more of Crooked Saints in 2012, hopefully with a full length album being released.

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