From an outsider looking in, this concisely paints a picture of Crooked Spies. It is not an unfamiliar site to witness cascading riff driven guitars played from the flat of their backs and soaring vocal harmonies, echoed through the room, compliments of the band's frontmen and brothers Dylan & Steven Evanik.
Having re-emerged with their sophomore album, High Plains, it was important for these visceral aspects of their live performance to be conveyed to listeners. Heavily influenced by the garage rock revival and classic rock, the group has been compared to such acts as The Black Keys, The Raconteurs, RATM and Danzig. BeatRoute describes the Calgary, AB based four piece as “Powered by the classic elements of rock n’ roll, combining them with heavy, melodic beats, and dark, brooding vocals; the bluesy backbone throughout their music keeps Crooked Spies’ sound complimentary regardless of the eclectic twists their style takes.”
Clearly taking pride in the raw and poetic aspects of their songs, High Plains is a “high energy piece of work”, with “an upbeat and charged collection of tracks” (The Gauntlet), though, more subtly reflects a long distance love affair to music. Pieced together through late night phone calls, voice memos and messy software, the album was constructed with members in Vancouver and Calgary throughout the entirety of the process. “ I think the distance between us helped shaped the record in a more organic and creative way. We couldn’t be in a rush to finish, giving us the time to make a cohesive but diverse piece of work,” says Dylan.
Though separated for the past two years the progress has yet to subside with the opportunity to support such acts as Danko Jones, We Hunt Buffalo, The Motorleague, High Kicks, Belvedere, The Sumner Brothers and Whitey Houston. Now reunited at home, the gents are set to tour the newly released album with an active winter and spring which includes Big Winter Classic this January supporting the likes of Less Than Jake, Red Fang and Metz.
The message is a simple one from Crooked Spies. Make music that is true to itself and have as much fun as possible doing it.
Stay in touch and be sure to catch them live in a town near you.
Dylan Evanik - Lead Vocals, GuitarSteven Evanik - Lead Guitar, VocalsAaron Samson - BassMark Lawlor - Drums