The seaside town of Rush in north Dublin has been making waves in the Irish music scene over the past few months with hard rockers Fangclub releasing their debut LP. November saw another Rush band release music that is punchy, hard-hitting and chock full of riffs.
Crooked Edge are a quartet that focus on hard-hitting riffs built on a steady rhythmic foundation – and that’s before adding the thunderous vocals of front woman Ainsley Kavanagh. ‘Born Out of Fear’ is comprised of just four songs but all four are ballsy, angsty and full of an incessant rage that pushes the proverbial volume up to eleven.
Musically, the fervent drumming of Steven Whearity compliments the tenacity of Ciaran Hilliard’s basslines – the two illustrating just how strong a rhythm section can be after years of playing together. The incandescent guitar work of Ronan Duff is first-class throughout the EP, with him illustrating his talent as a lead guitarist.
However, the lack of a second guitarist is something that is sorely missing in Crooked Edge’s current set-up. Hilliard complements the drumming of Whearity and while they make a formidable pairing, they are presented as a unit rather than as two separate musicians which leaves every track feeling a little bit lacking.
Kavanagh’s vocals embody the rage that is musically expressed by the instrumentation and her range throughout the EP is impressive. As with the gap left by being without a second guitarist, some backing vocals to contrast with Kavanagh’s would have added to every track on the EP. Reloaded in particular is crying out for a big backing vocal in the chorus, something to provide some disparity.
‘Born Out of Fear’ is a decent stab at creating cacophonous rock music but ultimately, it just falls short of the mark and what results is an EP with nothing inherently bad but nothing that is particularly outstanding either. While four hugely talented musicians are showcased, it feels like they could achieve much more than this EP. By the time an album rolls around, Crooked Edge could very well be ones to watch.