Crooked River
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Crooked River

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The best kept secret in music


"The Pyramid Eye"

Crooked River - The Pyramid Eye
Rating: 9

Crooked River’s first album entitled the Pyramid Eye is a refreshing blend of blues, jazz, folk, and hard rock that is both gritty and melodic. The opening track of the album, US Success, quickly grabs your attention with a build up on the snare drum that explodes into distorted power chords with vocals a-blazing. And if that isn’t enough to get your attention, the pre-chorus lures you in with the sexually charged lyrics 'I’m gonna go out and get some, I’m gonna go out and get some' that refer to getting US success. This song is full of lyrical highlights like 'when Liberty no longer feeds the nations from her breast, you better go out and get your own success' or 'the simple things are the things we take for granted.'

The title track, Pyramid Eye, is a song about the 'Almighty Dollar,' as Shawn has stated many times during their live shows around Kansas City. Pyramid Eye paints a vivid story about the trappings of money and corrupt churches that serve the idol of wealth. The lyrics 'Money is made of paper and metal, but I’m made of flesh and blood,' 'Yeah, but who’s your God,' and “You all worship the Pyramid Eye' quickly sum up the subject matter of the song along with baritone chants of 'E Pluribus Unum.' The next song, Radio Play, is a sarcastic homage to that song that you hear everyday on the radio over and over and over until you want to shoot yourself. The lyrics 'It’s not the greatest song that ever was written, but its on the radio everyday' encapsulates the attitude of the song. Radio Play starts out with a descending guitar riff and ends with a blistering solo that stops abruptly and leaves you wanting more.

The fourth song is entitled Crooked River and it is an anthem named after the band. The lyrics describe a man that longs throughout his life to go back to the river near where he lived. Musically, this is one of the strongest songs on the album in my opinion. It begins with a bluesy clean riff that is quickly contrasted by a soaring wah wah guitar solo before the song even gets to the second verse. The hesitant withholding of the chorus makes its arrival even more welcome when its solid harmonies are finally unleashed. The fifth track, Lucky Me, is a laid back love ballad that switches up the mood from the previous rock tracks. The straightforward drum beats and funky bass lines create a smooth backdrop for the jazzy guitar and folksy vocals. But, don’t chill out for too long. The sixth track, Strange Sleep, begins with a hoppy bass line that is quickly joined by drums and distortion. The vocal ranges of this band are definitely tested on this track. The verses, choruses, and post-chorus chants have some of the highest and lowest vocal notes on the whole album.

The next to last song, Black As Pitch, is probably the most aggressive song on the album. The gritty octave harmonies delivered by the bass player Russ, add a whole different dimension to the dark choruses. Black As Pitch climaxes with a full on drum, bass, and guitar solo that showcases the band’s jamming ability. The final song on the album, The Drones, is a homage to the average worker who is overworked and under appreciated. The song equates workers with drones inside of a bee hive. Musically this song is filled with melodic lead riffs that mirror the vocal melody of the song. The most memorable of which comes during the section where Shawn sings 'Words can never harm us but we’re carrying the sticks and the stones and its breaking our bones oh yeah we are the drones.' The Drones ends with a military drum beat build up that trails off with a distortion dive into a cannon explosion. I have to say that this was one of the most surprising endings to an album that I’ve heard in a long time.

Overall, Crooked River’s The Pyramid Eye is an amazing album that contains melodic vocals and well-crafted instrumentation. The lyrics tell interesting stories and paint vivid imagery for the listener while providing a deeper meaning at the same time. The Pyramid Eye is definitely a lyrical masterpiece that explores musical soundscapes often brushed aside in today’s world of throw away pop singles and self-indulgent, egotistical rap proclamations.

Crooked River will be releasing their album on December 10th at the Hurricane in Westport with fellow bands Lipriddle and One Degree DifferenceThe Pyramid Eye was recorded at Chapman Recording Studios and Wayne Wilks of One Degree Difference will be handling the artwork and design of the album. Here is the track listing that will be featured on The Pyramid Eye:

1. US Success
2. Pyramid Eye
3. Radio Play
4. Crooked River
5. Lucky Me
6. Strange Sleep
7. Black As Pitch
8. The Drones

Jermiah Barber - Midset Magazine


The Pyramid Eye (2003)

Radio Play with: US Success, Pyramid Eye


Feeling a bit camera shy


Rock, straight forward Rock.
Influences include Black Sabath, Frank Zappa,
Led Zepplin, Primus, Tool, Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots. Formed in 2002. We have opened for regional acts such as LA Guns and Thrust. Played numerous show throughout the midwest, and released our full length album the Pyamid Eye in 2003.

Have received radio play on several college stations and was featured on the "Home Grown Buzz" show KRBZ 96.5

Our name derives from a small river that flowed near each of us growing up. We took the name as a representation of who we are, where we come from and what drives us today.
Our passion for music.