Over a haunting strum of bass and an echo of a guitar, vocalist and bassist, Oli Rainsford, kicks off the latest Krooked Tongue single, “Lupines”, with a vibrato in the likes of Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and the confident vocal swagger of the late Jim Morrison (Doors).
The opening of “Lupines” is haunting, quiet, and subdued but as guitarist, Dan Smith, and drummer, Harry Pritchard, join Rainsford, the trio from Bristol, crescendo into a noise of epic and utter euphoric beauty.
And by noise, I do not mean the racket a child can make with game of Hungry Hippos either.
The music of “Lupines” is bold and thunderous with Rainsford and Smith giving me Mike Star/Mike Inez and Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) vibes. The bass is brooding, slick, and heavy. The guitar is decibel rising static crunch and Pritchard’s drumming is the heartbeat of the song that ties them all together.
But what I really dig about the song is Rainsford’s vocals. As I said before, there’s a confident swagger in his voice and the more I listened, the more Morrison kept popping into my head.
It’s the confidence of the vocals that could almost come off as a middle finger to the world, but Rainsford restrains himself beautifully. He balances the vocal tones between “want you” and “fuck you” in a manner that melts the listeners.
“Lupines” is the follow up to their celebrated single “When the Beaches Bleed” and their debut EP, No Vacancy Hotel. Rainsford says this of the song:
Lupines is in some ways the antithesis to Krooked Tongue’s prior single “When the Beaches Bleed”. Though explosive in it’s catchy choruses, it shifts the tone slightly in creating a sense of swaying ecstasy. Lupines is a sexy, psychedelic journey through a field of the most colourful flowers you could imagine, yet also stands to challenge you to use that imagination to fight the limitations of your mind. Lupines is a lesson in relinquishing control and enjoying the ride.
And what a ride it is.
Listen to “Lupines” below