Crooked X review by Crooked X

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  • Released: Jan 27, 2009
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 3.8 (57 votes)
Crooked X: Crooked X
4

Sound — 7
It's likely that a lot of you will go into listening to the self-titled debut album from Crooked X with some valuable bio information: These band members were signed to a major record label at the age of 14. Even though you might want to go into reviewing an album without any bias, you can't ever disregard the fact that this is a group of young guys that are musically leaps and bounds ahead of most of their fellow teenagers. After coming in 2nd place on the CBS Early Show's Living Room Live segment, mega-manager Doc McGhee began to usher the kids into a veritable whirlwind of publicity (featured song on the video game Rock Band, a reality show on MTV, and lots of talk show appearances). So does that all equal a quality debut album? Crooked X's songwriting might still fall short of most of their 20-something-and-older peers, but their debut album shows a lot of promise. For Rock Band video game players, you may already have heard the tracks Nightmare or Rock N' Roll Dream as part of the playlist. These tracks are a fairly good indication of what you'll hear on the majority of the album, namely good ol' bluesy rock. Vocalist/guitarist Forrest French, lead guitarist Jesse Cooper, bassist Josh McDowell, and drummer Boomer Simpson are a group of competent musicians, and there is no shortage of musical chemistry. There might not be a whole lot of originality yet and the songs do recall quite a few other bands, but the 10-track CD is still quite likeable. Crooked X is at it's best when it delivers grooving lead guitar lines, which are most prevalent in the tracks Gone, Nail in the Coffin, and the Zakk Wylde-like Lost Control. The band definitely knows how to kick a song off, and the intros always tend to be the best parts of their compositions. While the remaining verses and choruses are not bad by any means, they do tend to feel like your basic power chord-driven rock tracks. The guitar team of Cooper/French are solid players, and as they continue to develop their talents, we're likely to hear some insanely good riffs in time.

Lyrics — 6
Much like the music, the lyrical department is still a work in progress. It's hard to be too rough on such young guys, but there are clichs galore on the debut album. You probably have an inkling of what the songs are about with titles like Rock N' Roll Dream (I had a rock and roll dream and I was the star; I went around the world; Playin' my guitar) or Adrenaline (Fifteen hundred pounds of adrenaline; Gonna ride this rocket ship until I win), and you're likely correct in the assessment. If you have little tolerance for superficial lyrics that have been done over and over (even if young teenagers are the composers), you will likely have little patience for Crooked X's debut record.

Overall Impression — 7
Fun is an appropriate description for Crooked X's music, which does feature a few very catchy tracks. The guitar work is reminiscent of everyone from Zakk Wylde to John Sykes to a tiny bit of Kirk Hammett, and this is a band that just needs to come into its own with a little time. If anything, Crooked X will hopefully prove to kids that dedication, practice, and a passion for music can eventually pay off in a big way.

69 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Golem29
    Kastm wrote: I dont get the whole "good for 14 year olds" crap. Maybe they are good for their age, but theyre nothing groundbreaking, just a jaw droppingly mediocre band. Theres no point in hiring a band thats "good for their age". I could sign a heavyweight boxer because "he's really good at boxing for a homeless guy", I could hire a new electrician because "hes a really good electrician for someone with no limbs", I could hire a personal pencil sharpener because "hes really good at sharpening pencils for someone who's never seen a pencil before, and the list goes on and on. We have to put up with so many talentless bands nowadays its ridiculous. Not to say Crooked X have no talent, but they should concentrate on some originality and playing skill before signing a record deal.
    You win, have a cookie.
    The_String_Man
    AmpleSteak wrote: Meh my bands 16 and rapes the shit out of these guys, progressive technical metal FTW!
    what a genre!lol
    sinister2491
    so... since their only 14 does that mean they will be broke up and burnt out has beens when their like 25? lol
    decayingdave
    They're nothing special, and just 'cus they're so young doesn't mean they're the next big thing - Whenever some predictable boy band comes along every goes nuts about them 'cus they achieve so much in a short space of time, but considering they've all come from very favorable musical backgrounds, there's no wander they're doing well. REAL music comes from people who had to work their way up the ladder, not from a bunch of children with pushy parents.
    6cradle6of6filt
    sinister2491 wrote: so... since their only 14 does that mean they will be broke up and burnt out has beens when their like 25? lol
    :L, that made me lol
    Powerhouse
    These guys are like the Silverchair of this decade. They're good considering their age, but they're really just a product of the times. Silverchair sounded like a 14 year old's Pearl Jam/Nirvana, Crooked X sounds like a 14 year old's Hinder/Buckcherry/Rev Theory.
    Ace-014
    I personally think these guys have a lot of potential. As of now they're looking for their own style, but give em time and I'm pretty sure they will be awesome. They've got a whole lot of spirit in what they do, I just hope that the media and record deal evils don't end up getting to the kids' head or it'll all go to hell for them.
    irokzworld
    if by sick you mean mediocre... They're not bad but their songs sound like things i hear on the radio. Sure, they'll get better but why couldn't they put out a record when they're good enough to not just be "good for their age"?
    GUNIT!
    pranav wrote: I saw these guys on jimmy kimmel, the performance sucked, but the singer had some prety strong chops, as for the rest of em, I've seen fourteen year olds play better same here, i saw them in jimmy kimmel, The drummer sucked..but the vocalist had some talent...the others were just average, nothing extraoridinary.
    Same here.
    ofbassisman
    I just recently found out about this band and got there album, and they are awsome. Though they may be able to do the same sqweels as Zakk Wylde they have there own originality. My band would jump at the opertunity to play a show with them, and we are not that easily empressed, but Crooked X, is well among the best, and i'll put my name on that, from The Bass Man Michael D of Pandemic Existence
    AmpleSteak
    Meh my bands 16 and rapes the shit out of these guys, progressive technical metal FTW!
    nofearfactor
    These kids parents aren't rich or well connected.The lead singers dad is my UPS man.The lead guitarists dad lives in a trailor and has been playing in local bands around Tulsa,Ok for probably 20 years.They aren't pushing these guys into this-it's the kids who want to do this.They just have the kind of parents who are sacrificing what little they have to do for their kids what most parents should- by helping them to reach their goals.Which just happens to be the 'rock star' dream in this case.Do child actors parents do any different?I know these little dudes.Kind of.I had a small hand in their development.I got a call one day from the mother of the lead singer about 3 years ago.She was working as the receptionist in a local Drs office and she had gotten my number from someone who knew I toured in a band and knew that I lived local when home from the road.Her husband,the UPS man, also had told her about all of the music gear he was always delivering to my house.So,she calls me up and asks if I knew anyone local that they could contact to get the kids some shows.I had seen their DIY CDs in a local video store but new nothing about them at all.I gave her one number-a guy who with his wife,a former singer for a local Tulsa popular band, had been promoting some local shows and had just started running a small local music festival called D-Fest(DiversaFest).They got the guys on the festival.(It's now big enough to rival SXSW with acts like The Flaming Lips and Helmet coming in to headline opening nights).They then went out and played a shitload of local shows-including a local charity show called 'CancerSucks' that plays at a local big time venue called Cains Ballroom(was listed as the 41st best venue for live shows).Since then I've seen them go from the small local shows they were playing at a small theatre in a small Oklahoma town to the CBS Morning Show contest to 'Snake' Sabo(Skidrow) showing up at a showcase show they did one night and signing them to a major label.Now they're opening for major acts world wide.And still in junior high in a small town.Got lucky?Maybe.But they have worked their little asses off to get where they are too.And they don't have rich parents who paid to get them there.Fender came in and threw a bunch of the new EVH stacks at them.Main thing is,are they any good?Not great,but good enough to get signed,get RockBand to put a song up and get on some big shows overseas as openers.I don't care for their sound myself and they are'nt as good as a lot of bands,but are probably better than a lot of others.They're not my style at all.But I'm not 14 and I didn't have that 'grew up on Metallica' back ground.Not defending them,but,they're only 15 years old.So they're going to write songs with a juvenile mindset with skills that haven't been honed or polished yet.Maybe they will get better,maybe they'll fade away.One of the bands David Lee Roth called "Here today,gone later today" bands.I was living in Des Moines Iowa in the mid 90s and playing the club scene there when Slipknot came up and then went big,and I've been around a bunch of other friends bands when they went from being local joes to playing stadiums back home in norhtern California.But then the bands that I like such as Chimaira and Mushroomhead that I consider some brutal players can't even sell enough records to get out of Cleveland.So.Go figure.It's a crazy business...
    prt1990
    I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of people have rated this album so poorly due to their preconceptions of what it would be like... I doubt many people have actually heard it...
    Cartilage
    Punkismygod wrote: Gord@k wrote: But maybe its just because i live in metals mother land(finland) i think that. Fixed. They sound all ok they have great future ahead.
    +2 Finland has Children of Bodom (sorry rest of the world but its no contest)
    Somnambulance
    Kastm wrote: I dont get the whole "good for 14 year olds" crap. Maybe they are good for their age, but theyre nothing groundbreaking, just a jaw droppingly mediocre band. Theres no point in hiring a band thats "good for their age". I could sign a heavyweight boxer because "he's really good at boxing for a homeless guy", I could hire a new electrician because "hes a really good electrician for someone with no limbs", I could hire a personal pencil sharpener because "hes really good at sharpening pencils for someone who's never seen a pencil before, and the list goes on and on. We have to put up with so many talentless bands nowadays its ridiculous. Not to say Crooked X have no talent, but they should concentrate on some originality and playing skill before signing a record deal.
    Not only do I agree, but I see this as a big reason why the music industry is falling apart. If there were more original sounding artists, I believe people would buy more albums. Instead, what we'll get is albums slowly disappearing from the market with singles once again being the representative medium of the market. Censorship and laws are going to change too. Ugh, I don't like thinking about it, but the changes are happening and we don't even notice it. Just compare the industry five years ago to the one today. It's weird how different things really have become.
    whatiaminstead
    i have a really hard time with young people getting publicity so early. come on, give them the time to actually GET GOOD before encouraging the whole thing to go to their head and stunting their musical growth with camera's and talk shows
    webbtje
    ShadesOfNight wrote: Marley167 wrote: Birmingham is metal land ;P haha yes mate! screw all o' you eastern european black metaller weirdos. Birmingham's where it began, therefore the true motherland. Real, raw, Thrash Metal
    Yeah, Black Sabbath, that well-known thrash band.
    a7xplayer
    well, what were u guys doing at 14. they obviously arent great, but they are enjoyable to listen to. the one thing that gets me mad is how the guitarist only uses pentatonic scales for his solos
    Maiden4Life1234
    Original my ass. They stole the main riff in Nightmare from Iron Maiden, and the solo is the main riff of N.I.B. They cant go around being successful if they keep stealing riffs and parts from people. thats not cool
    Synyster915
    ofbassisman wrote: I just recently found out about this band and got there album, and they are awsome. Though they may be able to do the same sqweels as Zakk Wylde they have there own originality. My band would jump at the opertunity to play a show with them, and we are not that easily empressed, but Crooked X, is well among the best, and i'll put my name on that, from The Bass Man Michael D of Pandemic Existence
    That was very douchey.
    diddykoi6
    i listened to some and i wasnt impressed ill avoid... and yeah birmingham is birth place of true metal i think lol
    blommen
    ShadesOfNight wrote: Marley167 wrote: Birmingham is metal land ;P haha yes mate! screw all o' you eastern european black metaller weirdos. Birmingham's where it began, therefore the true motherland. Real, raw, Thrash Metal
    gotta agree with you there mate, and i am from Denmark (pretty good metal cred too here though)
    wes_jett2008
    same here, i saw them in jimmy kimmel, The drummer sucked..but the vocalist had some talent...the others were just average, nothing extraoridinary.
    If you think their drummer sucked you're an idiot,Hes no Neil Peart by any means but the kid does'nt suck...His double kick ability is very good,I wish I played that well when I was 14.
    ShadesOfNight
    Marley167 wrote: Birmingham is metal land ;P
    haha yes mate! screw all o' you eastern european black metaller weirdos. Birmingham's where it began, therefore the true motherland. Real, raw, Thrash Metal
    Teen Spirit
    Hell of a future ahead of them. And how about the whole of Scandinavia is the mother of metal eh?
    Shredder Guitar
    These guys are okay, but they just sound to radio/poppy compared to others. If you want some great younger bands, check out Animosity or even Black Tide.
    funkyfigure8
    AmpleSteak wrote: Meh my bands 16 and rapes the shit out of these guys, progressive technical metal FTW!
    My band is the same, less technical and more melodic though. These guys blow compared to us and im not saying that arrogantly. www.myspace.com/swallowedbythetide
    AmpleSteak
    The_String_Man wrote: AmpleSteak wrote: Meh my bands 16 and rapes the shit out of these guys, progressive technical metal FTW! what a genre!lol
    The_String_Man wrote: AmpleSteak wrote: Meh my bands 16 and rapes the shit out of these guys, progressive technical metal FTW! what a genre!lol
    Indeed Lol
    RockGuitar92
    I listened to them and they sound very mediocre. I hate how they are supposedly awesome because they are 14 too. Who cares?
    pranav
    I saw these guys on jimmy kimmel, the performance sucked, but the singer had some prety strong chops, as for the rest of em, I've seen fourteen year olds play better
    same here, i saw them in jimmy kimmel, The drummer sucked..but the vocalist had some talent...the others were just average, nothing extraoridinary.
    morganite14
    I agree with synths, crooked x is soo bland and it really is just a bunch of hype because theyre so young. Will they do great things in the future? Odds are that they will but until then people should take the music for what it is and not just because theyre so young
    westvipor
    Golem29 wrote: Kastm wrote: I dont get the whole "good for 14 year olds" crap. Maybe they are good for their age, but theyre nothing groundbreaking, just a jaw droppingly mediocre band. Theres no point in hiring a band thats "good for their age". I could sign a heavyweight boxer because "he's really good at boxing for a homeless guy", I could hire a new electrician because "hes a really good electrician for someone with no limbs", I could hire a personal pencil sharpener because "hes really good at sharpening pencils for someone who's never seen a pencil before, and the list goes on and on. We have to put up with so many talentless bands nowadays its ridiculous. Not to say Crooked X have no talent, but they should concentrate on some originality and playing skill before signing a record deal. You win, have a cookie.
    dammit, i want a cookie.
    axeofoc5249
    Eh on their last post people were saying how humble they were for not having egos they're ****ing 14 of course they don't have egos they probably can't even spell it or know the definition of it. Watch when they get bigger they are just gonna be like every other band if they do get bigger.
    Scout1011
    AmpleSteak wrote: nofearfactor wrote: Diggin some ClosedForTonight.Good stuff.I like... Thanks bro http://www.myspace.com/closedfortonight<... Shameless advertising... Three times you've posted on here now about your band, one of them bragging about how your band is better than this? What an arrogant *****.
    Xx_banx
    nofearfactor wrote: These kids parents aren't rich or well connected.The lead singers dad is my UPS man.The lead guitarists dad lives in a trailor and has been playing in local bands around Tulsa,Ok for probably 20 years.They aren't pushing these guys into this-it's the kids who want to do this.They just have the kind of parents who are sacrificing what little they have to do for their kids what most parents should- by helping them to reach their goals.Which just happens to be the 'rock star' dream in this case.Do child actors parents do any different?I know these little dudes.Kind of.I had a small hand in their development.I got a call one day from the mother of the lead singer about 3 years ago.She was working as the receptionist in a local Drs office and she had gotten my number from someone who knew I toured in a band and knew that I lived local when home from the road.Her husband,the UPS man, also had told her about all of the music gear he was always delivering to my house.So,she calls me up and asks if I knew anyone local that they could contact to get the kids some shows.I had seen their DIY CDs in a local video store but new nothing about them at all.I gave her one number-a guy who with his wife,a former singer for a local Tulsa popular band, had been promoting some local shows and had just started running a small local music festival called D-Fest(DiversaFest).They got the guys on the festival.(It's now big enough to rival SXSW with acts like The Flaming Lips and Helmet coming in to headline opening nights).They then went out and played a shitload of local shows-including a local charity show called 'CancerSucks' that plays at a local big time venue called Cains Ballroom(was listed as the 41st best venue for live shows).Since then I've seen them go from the small local shows they were playing at a small theatre in a small Oklahoma town to the CBS Morning Show contest to 'Snake' Sabo(Skidrow) showing up at a showcase show they did one night and signing them to a major label.Now they're opening for major acts world wide.And still in junior high in a small town.Got lucky?Maybe.But they have worked their little asses off to get where they are too.And they don't have rich parents who paid to get them there.Fender came in and threw a bunch of the new EVH stacks at them.Main thing is,are they any good?Not great,but good enough to get signed,get RockBand to put a song up and get on some big shows overseas as openers.I don't care for their sound myself and they are'nt as good as a lot of bands,but are probably better than a lot of others.They're not my style at all.But I'm not 14 and I didn't have that 'grew up on Metallica' back ground.Not defending them,but,they're only 15 years old.So they're going to write songs with a juvenile mindset with skills that haven't been honed or polished yet.Maybe they will get better,maybe they'll fade away.One of the bands David Lee Roth called "Here today,gone later today" bands.I was living in Des Moines Iowa in the mid 90s and playing the club scene there when Slipknot came up and then went big,and I've been around a bunch of other friends bands when they went from being local joes to playing stadiums back home in norhtern California.But then the bands that I like such as Chimaira and Mushroomhead that I consider some brutal players can't even sell enough records to get out of Cleveland.So.Go figure.It's a crazy business...
    thanks for that epic wall of text
    AmpleSteak
    Scout1011 wrote: AmpleSteak wrote: nofearfactor wrote: Diggin some ClosedForTonight.Good stuff.I like... Thanks bro http://www.myspace.com/closedfortonight Shameless advertising... Three times you've posted on here now about your band, one of them bragging about how your band is better than this? What an arrogant *****.
    Lmfao yup naw im not arrogant i dont thinik were that great but compared to crooked x were better in my opinion.
    Mr. Skull
    crooked x is a disgraceful jonas-brothers like attempt at childhood stardom in metal.
    bliss10
    I dont like them. I'm fifteen, and have written more complex riffs and songs. and i know fourteen year olds with better chops. They just got a lucky chance, seeing i know many 14 and 15 year old bands who are much better.
    axl-is-awesome
    im surprised ive only read one comment about black tide.....usually people are bashing them left and right...black tide rocks!!!!!
    Nightfyre
    bliss10 wrote: I dont like them. I'm fifteen, and have written more complex riffs and songs. and i know fourteen year olds with better chops. They just got a lucky chance, seeing i know many 14 and 15 year old bands who are much better.
    more complex and/or better chops =/= good songs or a good band. creating interesting material and pulling together a song around said material, and keeping it interesting and fun, that will earn you my respect. i don't give a damn how technical you are, if you can't write a song you're not worth my time. on topic: what's with all the record deals for kids still in high school all of a sudden? or in this case, middle school? let the kids get their education, and even more importantly let them mature. they're not ready for a record deal.
    Shazazmic
    funkyfigure8 wrote: AmpleSteak wrote: Meh my bands 16 and rapes the shit out of these guys, progressive technical metal FTW! My band is the same, less technical and more melodic though. These guys blow compared to us and im not saying that arrogantly. www.myspace.com/swallowedbythetide
    Sorry dude, it was all good until the vocals came. Your vocalist is going to rape the shit out of his vocal chords if he doesn't learn to scream right.
    axeofoc5249
    Xx_banx wrote: nofearfactor wrote: These kids parents aren't rich or well connected.The lead singers dad is my UPS man.The lead guitarists dad lives in a trailor and has been playing in local bands around Tulsa,Ok for probably 20 years.They aren't pushing these guys into this-it's the kids who want to do this.They just have the kind of parents who are sacrificing what little they have to do for their kids what most parents should- by helping them to reach their goals.Which just happens to be the 'rock star' dream in this case.Do child actors parents do any different?I know these little dudes.Kind of.I had a small hand in their development.I got a call one day from the mother of the lead singer about 3 years ago.She was working as the receptionist in a local Drs office and she had gotten my number from someone who knew I toured in a band and knew that I lived local when home from the road.Her husband,the UPS man, also had told her about all of the music gear he was always delivering to my house.So,she calls me up and asks if I knew anyone local that they could contact to get the kids some shows.I had seen their DIY CDs in a local video store but new nothing about them at all.I gave her one number-a guy who with his wife,a former singer for a local Tulsa popular band, had been promoting some local shows and had just started running a small local music festival called D-Fest(DiversaFest).They got the guys on the festival.(It's now big enough to rival SXSW with acts like The Flaming Lips and Helmet coming in to headline opening nights).They then went out and played a shitload of local shows-including a local charity show called 'CancerSucks' that plays at a local big time venue called Cains Ballroom(was listed as the 41st best venue for live shows).Since then I've seen them go from the small local shows they were playing at a small theatre in a small Oklahoma town to the CBS Morning Show contest to 'Snake' Sabo(Skidrow) showing up at a showcase show they did one night and signing them to a major label.Now they're opening for major acts world wide.And still in junior high in a small town.Got lucky?Maybe.But they have worked their little asses off to get where they are too.And they don't have rich parents who paid to get them there.Fender came in and threw a bunch of the new EVH stacks at them.Main thing is,are they any good?Not great,but good enough to get signed,get RockBand to put a song up and get on some big shows overseas as openers.I don't care for their sound myself and they are'nt as good as a lot of bands,but are probably better than a lot of others.They're not my style at all.But I'm not 14 and I didn't have that 'grew up on Metallica' back ground.Not defending them,but,they're only 15 years old.So they're going to write songs with a juvenile mindset with skills that haven't been honed or polished yet.Maybe they will get better,maybe they'll fade away.One of the bands David Lee Roth called "Here today,gone later today" bands.I was living in Des Moines Iowa in the mid 90s and playing the club scene there when Slipknot came up and then went big,and I've been around a bunch of other friends bands when they went from being local joes to playing stadiums back home in norhtern California.But then the bands that I like such as Chimaira and Mushroomhead that I consider some brutal players can't even sell enough records to get out of Cleveland.So.Go figure.It's a crazy business... thanks for that epic wall of text
    Still they are kids let them grow up first they like you say have a juvenile mindset and child actors are always ****ed up so you think just cause these kids are "rockstars" it will be different wrong it will be worse look to be burying these kids by the time they are 19 cause living the dream comes at a heavy price.