29 May 2020

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Crooked Royals - Single Review: Copacetic

19 Mar 2020 // A review by Kris Raven

Crooked Royals are back!

With brand new single Copacetic about to be released, Auckland progressive metalcore five-piece Crooked Royals are continuing their meteoric rise and adding to an already brilliant 2020 of music (and its only March!). Off the back of last year's Rumination EP and following a huge 2019 of touring and international support slots, including prime slots with metal heavyweights Northlane, Polaris and Monuments, the boys are back to destroy our ears once again.

This new song already feels like a step up, a gradual evolution, where they are really comfortable with their music and their overall musicianship. It feels like they are branching out and experimenting a little more, controlling the chaos with room to breathe between musical and vocal passages.

Co-Vocalist Christian Cartensen leads the song, his voice is harmonious, passionate and carries a lot of clarity. Beginning with lead guitarist Jake Andrews clean, finger picked guitar melody, they are quickly joined by drummer Keane Gillies snare rolling, the song slowly building. What I’ll call the “chorus” , this part is just so catchy and hooky, Jake's signature lead tapping mixing through Christian's incredibly punchy vocal melodies “If I could seize the day then I might please my pain”, a little less frantic, massive and allowing breathing room for the melodies to rule.

Then as they do, the song takes us off the tracks, co vocalist and main screamer Lee Mackley takes over, commanding and dominating this next section. I like how the vocals have been recorded in this song, Lee's screaming sounds rawer and live and Christian's clean vocals soar and control the song. There's the rhythmic breakey chugs breaking through Keane's impressive rolling double kicks, I love the Jake Luhr's spoken/whisper type vocals and then the customary breakdown with the complimentary Sam Carter Blurgh!

The next passage is groove heavy with Christian leading the vocal assault. There is some definite Veil of Maya inspiration, especially with Connor Lawson's bass mimicking certain guitar passages, which sounds insane, these guys kill it on their guitars every time. Again, the rhythm section and guitars are very tight and cohesive but this time there is more allowance for certain instruments to carry certain parts. When the guitar is demanding, the drums are solid and composed and then vice versa, as Lee savagely screams “And round and round and round” Coming down a notch,  there is a rad synthy guitar line that plays over a staggered palm muted rhythm, taking us on another path.

“Walls create divide”, we return briefly to where it began before we get some of Christian's impassioned screams, a cool dynamic within both vocalists. Then the return to the epic 'chorus part', getting that last session of hooky goodness. In true CR form, the song takes its own structure but they come back to the main vocal and driving guitar melody that really keeps you wanting more. I am incredibly curious to see where the next song or songs takes us and I can already see this being a big crowd favorite live! 

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )


Year: 2019
Type: EP
Year: 2018
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kris Raven

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