by Lauren Rosier
Berkeley-based psychedelic rock/jam band, Crooked Flower, has a similar story to most bands, but it’s their music that creates the real story.
The California six-piece’s latest record, Into The Light, is a force to be reckoned with. Released in late 2018, Into The Light, is a dynamic release that pulls the listener in and forces you to notice all the minute details of the album’s arrangements.
The upbeat, jammy track “Dancing” opens the record with clear influences of psychedelic rock, alternative rock, and even some grunge elements. Vocalist Angelina Dang’s voice is so versatile that she can sing anything, as she sings “I’m dancing, dancing/into the light/I’m dancing, dancing/into the night…”
On songs like “Search Warrant Blues” take an anti-prohibition stance in honor of Canada’s Liberation Day on October 17, 2018.
As the song opens, droning, haunting guitars dance, the opening of the song is slightly haunting and ambient. Then Dang’s sweet, angelic voice sings gently over electrifying guitars. It immediately changes tempo and crescendos into a solid rock track as Dang begs “I wanna know/I wanna see/I wanna hear/I wanna speak/I wanna know/I wanna see/I wanna hear/ I wanna.” The song breaks into a solid, electrifying guitar solo before Dang begins singing again: “Tommy wasn’t gonna/Johnny wasn’t saved/but in the drug war/everyone’s the same/everyone gets in line/because the government said so…”
It is so incredible to come upon a vocalist that has such versatility in her voice. The third song on the record, “Freedom,” is another anti-prohibition song where Dang sings about politics, government, and the drug war. She sings: “all we want is a little freedom/this ain’t too much, it ain’t enough/twenty more home invasions/you know I won’t open up/thank God for the government/for takin’ care of me…”
The single “Around and Around” is another upbeat, fun song about love, life, and loss. Dang sings “you left me all alone/left me sittin’ on the side of the road/made me laugh, but you made me cry/made me feel like I was gonna die/baby, I just can’t take it no more/baby/I just can’t fake it no more/baby/I’m heading through that door…”
Crooked Flower is truly well-versed in creating songs that both speak dynamically musically as well as lyrically. The track “10 Million Seeds” is another track that touches upon government and prohibition. It has more of a reggae feel as compared to some of the other tracks. Stay tuned for the band’s upcoming album due out before the end of summer.