The Crooked Fiddle Band


(Bird’s Robe)


It could count as assault and battery were it happening to any other part of the body than the eardrums. Then, just when you’re considering laying charges, they lull you into forgiveness with a swooning melody such as could only be conceived by the most angelic of pacifists. And so continues the fun dichotomy that is the Crooked Fiddle Band. Their scary side is all about taking Eastern European-inspired melodic ideas, and imagining what might have happened had the likes of Iggy and the Stooges strayed into this neck of the musical woods with a stack of 100-watt Marshalls.

Then, as the energy, ferocity, dissonance, double-time stampedes and wound-out distortion of acoustic instruments are collectively inclining you to duck for cover, they pull the old one-two trick again, and Jess Randal, for instance, plays a fiddle melody so gorgeous as instantly fools you into believing that what went before can’t really have been that brutal. After all, how much damage can a fiddle, acoustic guitar (Gordon Wallace), double bass (Mark Stevens) and drum kit (Joe Gould) do?