Berkeley-based Crooked Flower recently dropped a new album, called Into The Light. The album pays tribute to Canada’s Liberation Day and the right to party. Prior to Into the Light, the band released an EP, Darkness and Light, and a live album, Blooming – The Light Rail Sessions, during 2018.
Composed of Angelina Dang (vocals, keys, guitar), Daniel Erik (bass), Dan Ingberman (guitar), and Patrick Shields (drums, percussion), Crooked Flower began when Daniel Erik, age 4, visited Ingberman’s home studio. Fascinated by all the instruments, shortly after the visit, he was learning guitar.
Later, in 2011, Erik left St. Louis for Berkeley, California, where Ingberman was teaching at UC Berkeley. They started playing together. Three years later, they recruited Shields and Dang to complete the band’s lineup.
Crooked Flower’s sound features elements of psychedelic rock, pop, retro-flavored ‘70s rock, and jam band rock.
With eight tracks, the album opens with “Dancing,” a retro-laced psych-rock number full of fractal colors and Dang’s delightful voice, reminiscent of Stevie Nicks. “Search Warrant” begins with fluttering synths and delicately shimmering guitars surfacing over reverberating heavy tones. After the intro, the music takes on a funk-lite rough and ready rock savor, akin to psychedelic Bad Company.
Other excellent tracks include “Let You Go,” a tune exuding similarities to The Doors backing Janis Joplin, psychedelic rock mixed with grinding, dirty energy. “Around and Around” conjures up memories of The Police and Blondie. A new wave alt-rock melody rife with psychedelic textures pulses with infectious oomph and streaming, spiraling colors.
“10 Million Seeds” rides a reggae-lite vibe on a dreamy new wave rock matrix. A fat bass line really drives the song, along with potently crunching drums and skanking synths. ”Falling” flows on dark, bluesy savors tinted with psychedelic filaments, like Johnny Winter on an acid trip.
Into The Light integrates psychedelic rock with the momentum of alt-rock, and does it very well, attaining a distinctive, contagious sound.