Crookshanks - Postcards From Paradise... EP (2012)

Stumbling across a generally unknown band that sounds like they can hang with the big boys is always a nice surprise. Crookshanks, a five piece band from Parma, Ohio, is a perfect example of one of those bands. Crookshanks was created just a little under a year ago and released their first EP entitled Postcards From Paradise, America last month. This EP contains five songs of nonstop, genuine pop punk that any fan of the genre will enjoy.

Instrumentally, Crookshanks stands out from other bands with their lead guitar. The guitarist does more than just throw around the same recycled riffs for a couple of songs. He actually keeps the leads interesting with lots of sweeps and melodic leads. The standard pop punk riffs are layered right below these leads which gives the music more depth and holds my interest. The drumming is fairly simple with strong beats. The drummer doesn't do anything to stand out among the rest of the music and doesn't leave me impressed, but merely indifferent. The bass is rarely audible over the other elements of the music but this isn't very surprising. The riff towards the end of "Well Said" brings out the bass and it is also nothing reinventing.

The vocals on Postcards From Paradise, America are certainly a strong point for the band. With strong and energetic vocals that are akin to those of Light Years, the verses of the songs hook you while the choruses bring you in and have you singing along. In the fourth track, "Well Said", when the vocalist belts out "Cause in the end, I'm still the same old kid with a lot less friends and a whole mess of events I'm dying to forget", I can't resist singing along at the top of my lungs. The lyrics are the same cliché content that is popular in the genre. Most of the songs are about growing up and not wanting to, and others are about how the band is tired of the same town.

The first song "All The Way From Moron Mountain" features a very catchy intro guitar when the vocalist comes in singing my favorite lines of the EP "Overreacting but I can't help the way things are going lately and how everyone is leaving but me/I've picked up complaining as a regular hobby". This short but fantastic track only gives you a small glimpse of what's coming. The final track "Postcards From Paradise, America " starts off with more of a slower, mellow tone that continues for the rest of the track. This sound is very similar to Transit and fits the band pretty well. The lighter tone of the guitar is an excellent close to this EP.

Crookshanks just goes to show that bands with a Harry Potter reference for a name can still make fantastic music. There are really no huge flaws with Postcards From Paradise, America, and all I can say is that the band should just work on improving what they already do great. If you are a fan of Light Years or Turnover, make sure you do not miss this release. I have a feeling that this band will get huge with their future releases.

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By Austin Richburg ~ Me Gusta Reviews



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