Halfway Crooks

Halfway Crooks

BandAlternativeReggae

Halfway Crooks blend reggae-rock with funk, hip-hop, ska & beyond, resulting in their trademark sound. Infectious hooks & memorable lyrics will have you singing along as if you know them yet the vibes are fresh & original. Combined with high-energy performances make them a force to be reckoned with.

Biography

Halfway Crooks are a reggae-rock band from Yonkers, New York. From 1999, three out of four members led a punk-ska band, Invisible Enemy, until in 2006; their side project officially became their main gig. Luke, Tom, and Paul inducted Dave as the fourth member, whose addition of Hammond organ worked like audio glue in securing their sound. The Crooks mix several musical elements together in a style that can only be described by hearing it: soulful and grooving rock, reggae, ska, hip-hop, and funk rhythms; overlapped by smooth melodies, melodic raps, and infectious hooks; sporadically accompanied by guest vocalists, as well as brass instruments and percussion; culminating with insightful and memorable lyrics that paint a picture, bound to stick in your head. Sometimes verging on the brink of pop, yet always raw and distinct, the sound of Halfway Crooks is universally appealing.

Halfway Crooks have made an impression on many NY bar, club and college scenes, festivals, charity events and private parties, as well as world famous NYC clubs such as CBGB's. They were also the winners of the 2006 Battle of the Bands held by ‘The Bayou’ in Mt. Vernon, NY.

In 2007, the Crooks gigged locally as well as in Philly, D.C., and Vermont, after releasing "Throw the First Stone & Take the Streets" - 2 e.p.'s on 1 c.d. This album features a double-sided jacket, which holds a collection of recordings - some new, some old; from guest collaborations to songs that represent a more experimental side of their music. While gigging and promoting for their first release, they used all other available time to record their first full-length album, "Raise the Bar.” It consists of 17 original songs, 2 of which were mixed by Jim Sabella (Public Enemy, Marcy's Playground, Catch 22). Both albums are available on cdbaby, itunes, amazon, rhapsody, verizon v-cast... as well as internet radio such as lastfm.com

In 2008, Halfway Crooks released their first full-length album, played over 50 shows, headlining many amazing gigs as well as opening for some renowned acts. They had their first TV and magazine appearances (ranking #4 "Best Unsigned Alternative" act in Verbicide Magazine’s “Unsigned” issue) and were featured on 2 compilation CD’s (including Skratch Magazine’s 2008 Warped Tour Sampler).

In March, Halfway Crooks played and won the “Woodstock Industry Night” at The Colony in Woodstock, NY. They headlined the following show, “Concert for Charlie”; a charity event that raised over $5,000 for toddler’s medical expenses. Less than a month later, they opened for reggae force, The Aggrolites (Hellcat Records) in New York City. The summer brought the “Pleasantville Music Festival” (attracting close to 6,000 in attendance) where Halfway Crooks closed the beer garden stage, preceding headliner Joan Osborne. They also appeared on PCTV (Pleasantville Cable Television) doing an in-studio performance of “Safety Net”. In June, they played The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie with The Ritchie Scarlet Band (ex-guitarist for Ace Frehley). The third annual “Walshstock Festival”, started in part by the Crooks, drew hundreds into the mountains just outside Burlington, Vermont for an explosive 4th of July weekend. “The Greater American Food & Beer Festival” held in the fall (sponsored by The Peak 107.1) featured Halfway Crooks as the supporting act for veteran rockers, The Smithereens. And lastly, headlining on Halloween night in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village proved to be one of the finest performances for the band. Just after the parade ended, Halfway Crooks were on stage, in full costume and Halloween spirits, playing for a packed house.

As 2008 wound down, Halfway Crooks entered the studio to record 2 brand new tracks – “Just a Dude” and “Thru the Night”. They plan to release these songs on a compilation under their own label, Atomic Rooster Records, featuring several bands they have gigged with in the past year.

Halfway Crooks are looking forward to many more firsts in 2009, especially playing in new cities and states, bringing their music and high-energy performances to new crowds.

Lyrics

Outta Luck

Written By: Luke Havranek

Do you ever feel like nothing that you do is enough
You’re all out of luck & life’s just too tough
& just as soon as you’re about to give up
Things start to look up
Or maybe you’ve been on top of it all
Everything you’ve ever wanted & more
& then one day you lost it all
Life is so unpredictable
You never know what you think you know &
No matter where you are you can’t be sure of where you’re goin’
I’d like to know what the future is holdin’
But that door ain’t open
So I just sit back & try to do the best I can
Cuz worryin’ is what puts the stress in a man
The less that I plan, the more that I understand
But there’s still so many things that I can’t
Questions that nobody can answer
& it seems that lies get made up faster
I thought we were past the last of the times like that
But oh no we’ll never gain control
We’ll always be reaching out tryin to hold
Onto anything that will last
But what if it don’t last for long
& then things fall apart becuz the facts are wrong
So just pass the bong & bring your past along
Reminisce & realize that the past is gone
& when at last your calm
Remember everything you did
Everything you’ve said
& put it all together & try to connect
Every single cause to every single effect
& everybody’s flaws to anybody’s best
& see what you come up with cuz I’d really like to know

All Comes Down

Written By: Luke Havranek

The world is calm for a moment, everything fades out
The wind is the only think I hear & it plays loud
The trees sway, don’t know who to obey now
The rain clouds surround & any day now
It could all come down, everything it could all just come down
The sky could melt to the ground
The trees could burn & the buildings fall down
& what would we be left with? What would we be now?
Would we be offended, would we not see how?
That we could defend it, we’d figure it out
When it all ended, when it all comes down
Will we have a purpose when it all comes down?
Will we be nervous when it all comes down?
Will we deserve it when it all comes down?
I hope I learn this before it comes down
To the decision, I hope that I’m forgiven
For everything I did & for everything that I didn’t
Given the livin’ conditions I’m flippin’
From the beginning I never fit in cuz I’m different
So listen there must be an exception, affection
Misplaced in every direction, or at least that’s the way it seems now
But maybe that might change when it all comes down
Go run go run go roar roar!

Trik Ho

Written By: Tom Parisi

You…you was a ho
Baby I just couldn’t let you go
When… you went away
Darlin’ I prayed every night, got high every day
That you would return & then you did
But before I knew it, it would all soon end again
So fuck you & your juicehead friends
Cuz when you walked right out that door
I knew I couldn’t see your skank-ass anymore tonight
I know I was right, so don’t put up a fight
Tonight… I’m gonna have it my way tonight
Take it down now!
Back to the summer when we were chillen in the heat yea
My heart starts beatin faster as you’re drivin’ down my street
Cuz you’re getting closer to my home / baby girl I shoulda known
To be much more aggressive I woulda ripped off your clothes
Here & gone in a flash, shoulda cashed in on some action
Excuse is my reaction when my mind produce distractions
I won't get very far if I can’t be myself
Cuz we don’t know who we are from anybody else
So you take 10 trips with your friends every 5 or 10 minutes
If I knew now what I didn’t know back then
I’d say cut me up a line cuz we don’t got much time
I got so much to say, I gotta get off my mind
Cuz when you ran & that door slammed
I knew I wouldn’t see you anymore
Well I’ll still be calling you when you’re asleep tonight
* chorus x2 *
You better get down with the cause
because we’re gonna set it off tonight

Y.O. Connection

Written By: Tom Parisi

Another party’s over
Another morning nobody’s sober
& now that dawn’s rollin’ over
* Cuz that’s how we get down in Y.O
Party ‘til dawn is breakin’
Don’t give a fuck that’s how we roll
That’s how we get down in Y.O.
Party ‘til dawn is breakin’
Lettin’ everybody know *
Tryin’ to get up but too much shit’s goin’ down
Tryin’ to see straight but the room’s spinning around & around
Things are getting’ into the different zone right now
The lights are all out, the mood is set, & shit’s about to go down
But we got to keep it cool, calm, & fresh
Got the confidence, I always smoke the best shit
Nothing less & when I cant rest I gotta
Burn the sess to ease the stress
But lately my mind’s been aching, I cant take it
Walls are closing in I gotta break ‘em down
Tryin’ to get off I got this female up on me
& another on her so right now 3 is a party
Bass is bumpin’ the room is erupting
These bitches are like strippers
only give a little somethin’ somethin’
But that ain’t nothin’
when your ass is bumpin’ & grindin’
& soon you’ll be riding on me.
My heart stays pumping
when you give loving like you did
when you were still riding on me.
The party’s bumpin’
when you give loving like you did
when you were still riding on me.
7 in the morn’ your mom is knockin’ at the front door
Can I get my fresh kicks & be out before another minute passes?
Can’t stop laughin’, head is gassed up
Shoulda been out a little bit faster
Throws me over my bowl & trees
Can I get my fresh beer & my keys?
My man is still passed out lying cold on the couch
I hear the footsteps comin’ “Get the fuck outta my house!”
Burnin’ one down while I'm turnin’ her out
She’s lookin’ around cuz the sun’s comin’ out
She says “We’re loud, they probably hear every sound
O yea, the people upstairs, they’re gonna be kickin’ us out.”
She calls cuz she is locked out she can't get back in her house
But I am back in Y.O. & New Ro. is beat for now
& if you wanna find out how I stay pushin’ a pound of dro
While blowin’ a mound of snow, that’s how we get down in Y.O.
* chorus *

In Love with Myself

Written By: Luke Havranek

I know you wanna give it a try & so do I
But I realize inside that we’re never ever ever gonna get it right
I can tell, cuz im in love with myself
It makes me laugh sometimes how we act all the time
hoping no one can tell
I’m in love with myself
So there ain’t no room for you or anyone else
Cuz I’m in love with myself
That’s what I said to her, then she looked at me
She said,”This is Hell”
Baby we can make it, if we remove all the hatred
It’s so tasteless but it leaves such a feeling behind
Maybe we can fake it, go get a room at the Days Inn
And just stay in as we lay in the bed and start taking the steps
It’s what we need but now we’re too far behind
Cuz I’m in love with myself
* chorus *
I apologize if you’re just a little taken back
But I’m just stating a fact I’m done with breaking my back
And if I do I won’t be able to react
Cuz when I’m with you I’m like unstable with an axe
And I don’t wanna cut you down or put you down
But if I gotta cut you down I don’t want you to think it’s you
But anyways, I’m holding my shit straight like heavyweights
Already made it’s just the better way
Who’s laughing now?

Safety Net

Written By: Luke Havarnek

So many things I wanna say
So many things I cant explain
So many things built up in side
Fuckin’ with my mind
I wanna tell you everything
But I’m afraid of what you might think
& I don’t wanna cross the line
Nobody ever told me it was gonna be easy
& I’m learnin it again each & every day
Cuz things keep getting built up on top of each other
& I’m standin on top about to go insane
& if this tower falls down tonight
I wanna know if you’re the type
Of person I can count on to be down below
With your arms open wide oh
Ready to catch me when I fall
Will you answer when you get that call?
Get ready to catch me when I fall
I’ve been fallin’ for so long & don’t know if you can take it all
But can you take it all away
Can you make everything that I can’t take
Go away forever
& for every other effort I might make
You can relate, so what’s to hate?
Let’s pack our bags & then break away
Cuz I can’t stay here any longer
& you know I hate to wait
I got my keys in my hand & a full tank of gas
So let’s make it last & get away from our past
& when we get there you’ll see
We can be what we
Relaxed, at ease, & unafraid
Of everything, do you believe
That I will catch you when you fall
I’ll always answer when you call
I’m ready to catch you when you fall
We’ve both been falling for so long
Falling for each other. What went wrong

Hold Me Down

Written By: Luke Havranek

Sunday morning, I roll out of bed
Still not fully awake from all of the things that you said last night
So I lay them down again
And try to get some rest
But I just can’t stop thinking about this shit
And every time I do I start to feel myself flip
And they say that ain’t no way to live
So I start living it up
Get up, get ready then I’m headed to the bar
I got my mind set steady ready like I don’t care where you are
But as I start to drink up I start to think of
All the things that I used to sing cuz
All those simplistic bridges help me reminisce
So now I’m singing this
* Don’t hold me down
Cuz I wont stick around
(I can’t take it anymore) *
So I put down my shot and raise up my glass
Make a toast to the present
Hope it’s as good as the past
And in the end I pray that we’ll all be all right
God knows I’ve been blessed all my life
But that don’t mean I’m starting to take things for granted
Cuz I know that things can’t always go the way that I planned it
And in the end if the path that I choose just ain’t right
Well that don’t mean that it’s wrong
And I can’t stop thinking about it in my head
Thinking about what it is right now and about what it could’ve been
And they still say that ain’t no way to live
And just so there’s no confusion about this somehow
I’m telling you right now
I never wanted anything more than everything I had to deal with
I never wanted anything less than I could get away with
* chorus *

Take it From Me

Written By: Luke Havranek

This is the end of the life we must choose to defend
Now there’s only giving in to despair and then sin
Where do I begin tonight she’ll start off with some vicodin
And wash it down with a beer, you know she likes it when
It starts to kick in with chronic mixed in
It makes her feel like she’s always fit it
Not scared to talk, not scared to live
Drink to forget and then drink then forgive
The daily cycle that soon pushed her to the edge
Now ties her down and although it took some time to figure it out
She realizes now beyond a shiver of doubt
That all of those times that she spent just lashing out
Could have been spent better talking it out
One cigarette, lit with regret
Mixed with two parts despair and it’s easy to get
Depressed when you got no friends
It’s hard to deal with the situation but
* Take it from me - Take it from me - Things will be better tomorrow *
I know at first you’ll think of the worst
But the more time goes by the less that it hurts
And don’t be discouraged because you’re not perfect
Cuz anything perfect just simply ain’t worth it
Everything’s flawed everyone’s fucked
But find strength in God and never give up
Keep your head up and keep on moving
Cuz as long as you’re begging, you’ll never be choosing
* chorus *
I know you just want this day to end
The end of the life we must choose to defend
You live your live in regression, obsessed with deception
You turn to aggression, never much aware of the depth of your perception Attention focused on all your tensions
It builds up and it seems that you never learn your lesson
The best in the game can attest to it
Rest in your words, let them out manifested
Otherwise you’ll drown in retention
I see you crying in the middle of the night
And I know your lying, if you won’t put up a fight
Tomorrow, you know things they won’t be all that bad
Tomorrow, just think of what you have
We’re gonna ride it out now
Now I see your face again, so low

Discography

"Raise the Bar"
(17 song full length album)
Jan. 2008
*available on cdbaby, itunes, amazon, rhapsody, verizon v-cast... as well as internet radio such as lastfm.com

"Throw the First Stone" & "Take the Streets"
(2 E.P.'s on 1 C.D.)
Jan. 2007
*available on cdbaby, itunes, amazon, rhapsody, verizon v-cast... as well as internet radio such as lastfm.com

Compilations:
"New Sounds" CD Sampler Vol.2
Verbicide Magazine
Feb. 2008

"Skratch Compilation CD" (Warped Tour '08 ed.)
Skratch Magazine
June 2008

Set List

Sets can range at any length requested: 20 minutes to 3 hours.

Halfway Crooks have 40+ original songs, 10 of which are on our first release, and 17 are from our full-length album.

Halfway Crooks also perform an extensive range of cover songs, most of which have the "Crooks" spin on 'em.
(Various Sublime, Clash, Tom Petty, Misfits...) ("Fraggle Rock", "Psycho Killer" -Talking Heads, "Bang Bang" -Cher, Nancy Sinatra, "Sister Golden Hair" -America, "She's Not There" -The Zombies, "No Diggity" -Blackstreet, "Ignition" -R. Kelly, etc.)

Halfway Crooks cater to each event they are playing. For example, they've played many holiday shows including New Year's Eve, Halloween (search "Halfway Crooks Halloween" on youtube.com ), and St. Patrick's Day. For the St. Patty's show, they added 10 Irish related songs to the two- hour-&-a-half -sets featuring bagpipes & 2 Irish rappers, and of course, decorated the stage & themselves with St.Patty's related props. Which brings to mind thei