Plagued by familiar tales of frustration served up by you-know-what, Bristol’s Krooked Tongue have instead spent the last two years honing their craft in the studio. Working alongside Josh Gallop of Phoxjaw in 2020, in Stage 2 Studios in Bath, it’s fair to say their sound has reached a level of rock sophistication and finesse. Following a steady stream of singles, they now launch the first E.P; a four-song statement without an inch of fat.
The opener ‘Vampire’ has a monstrous riff and guitars that sound out like alarms. Fuzzed up bass powers everything along before the guitars stutter and cave into themselves into the final chorus. There’s more scuzzy bass on previous single, ‘Freaky Love’ and it gives way to a funky groove and melody. The track is the story of a love between outsiders who’ve found each other. Delayed guitars motor the tune forward. A stripped back breakdown builds steadily into one final euphoric hurrah before feeding us that funked-up riff one last time.
‘Swarm’ is more of an epic slow burner. Its spacious, desert sound brings to mind the moment when Kings of Leon became stadium-sized and it has similar themes of rock ‘n’ roll excess. As elsewhere, the tightness and creativity of the band takes centre-stage in that final third of the song. And finally, title-track ‘No Vacancy Hotel’, where they saved their strongest hook until last. Heavy riffing helps the chorus to soar and, as ever, those closing moments. They throw in a few rock ‘n’ roll thrills along the way for good measure.
As well as being their debut E.P, the band see this as a new beginning; their opening chapter. “This is just the start of the archive” according to vocalist and lyricist Oli Rainsford. Only time will tell if the rest of their story can remain so tight and engaging. Top class songs and musicianship vying for your attention is a winning formula and can count in another fan!
Written by Matt Nicholson