The Crooked Fiddle Band - The Crooked Fiddle Band
Mad Passionate Gypsy Folk
6 songs (24:40)
Release year: 2006
Home Page
Reviewed by Jeff

The Crooked Fiddle Band personally contacted Metal Reviews, requesting a review of their EP. They felt their music contained elements that would appeal to most readers who visit our site. I visited their My Space page, listened to some samples of what they were all about and had them send me a copy of their six song EP.

So what's so "crooked" about The Crooked Fiddle Band anyway? Well, in my most humble opinion, I'd have to say it's the way in which they use their instruments. I'll get to this in a bit!

The Crooked Fiddle Band is a quartet from Sydney, Australia. The band consists of Jess Randall (violin, octave violin, vocals), Gordon Wallace (guitar, bouzouki, mandolin), Mark Stevens (double bass, charango) and Joe Gould (drum kit, junk and traditional percussion). Their songs include traces of Eastern European, Celtic and Middle Eastern music as well as modern metal, bluegrass and electronic influences.

With all that being said, one can probably conclude that if you go to a club and have people of different musical subgenres hanging out, such as swing cats, Romani gypsies, folk geeks, dirty punks and metalheads, there is a good chance that the one thing they might find they have in common is The Crooked Fiddle Band!

The "crooked" aspect of The Crooked Fiddle Band is that they cover so many different styles that it's hard to predict what to expect! The music is a mutt-mix almost everything and anything; from furious Romanian melodies and punked up Celtic passages to swampy bluegrass, enchanting gypsy airs and folkie Appalachian laments. The band has an excellent gift in being able to incorporate so many different styles and apply them successfully to their musical ways.

A track like Fire Swing is very hypnotic with the crackling fire sounds and seductive female vocals. The violin playing is nothing short of virtuoso and could give any speed metal guitar player a run for their money. The Butcher of Bessarabia is just plain mad! Out of all the songs on this EP, this one is the fastest and angriest. It has the intensity of most thrash metal songs yet doesn't need heavy, distorted electric guitars to get that point across. This track is sure to get people moshing in the pit! I'm not sure how anyone can even keep up! Flight From Damascus has a very gypsy feel to it with the enchanting percussion runs and Middle Eastern styled guitar playing. I can almost envision a slew of beautiful belly dancers right before my eyes or a snake charmer hypnotizing a deadly cobra with his instrument. Lost in Transcription has a Spanish feel to it with the acoustic guitar picking and gets punkier in tempo as the song goes on. The violins dictate the melody throughout the song. 44 Gallon Drum has a grooving, swing feel with some ear piercing violin playing at times. There is also a pretty cool bass line break that is very jazz like. The Drowned Sun is probably the slowest song. There is a certain melancholy and sadness to it. The violin melody on this track just might have you reaching for your tissues!

Considering that this is a four piece and the dominating and driving instruments are violins, The Crooked Fiddle Band have something to offer that is a bit off the beaten path and but can easily appeal to almost any listener with an objective ear! Don't let the word "fiddle" in the bands name make you assume anything otherwise as far as the type of music this band plays. It's the "crooked" part that will grab your attention more so than anything!

For more information on The Crooked Fiddle Band visit the band's home page at the link above or their My Space page at .

Killing Songs :
The Butcher of Bessarabia, Lost in Transcription, Flight
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