The 2015 release of Crook & The Bluff’s debut album, “Down To the Styx” portrays the sonic landscape they’ve been refining since the band’s birth in 2013 that is akin to the vast desert itself, whose influence permeates their music. They’ve crafted a powerful stage presence equipped with an arsenal of songs depicting lust, love, murder and malevolence, in which Dath's powerful, booming baritone and piercing falsetto interplay seamlessly with Wilford's harmonies, and fierce guitar work. When they slow it down, the music takes on an eerily beautiful calm that lulls the listener into a trance, only to be slapped right out of it.
In the spring of 2015 they absorbed into their flanks multi-instrumentalist singer songwriter, Sarah DeGraw to command the drums and lace the vocal melodies with ghostly lament. With DeGraw now administering the pulse to the dance floor, it seems the audience cannot help but to spiral into a hypnotic state, falling victim to the collective sway obscured in the band’s unmistakable dense layers of fog and sound. Through a skyline of amps, a labyrinth of pedals, and a rhythm section that looms on the horizon like that of an imminent lightning storm, this three piece creates a sound that is at times as colossal as the canyons their home state Utah is carved with, yet like the howling breeze in the twilight hours becomes as intimate as sharing a bottle of bourbon beside the fire. Their blend of psychedelia, blues, and folk coalesces into a singular, definitive feeling of the American West. Kirk Dath, Tad Wilford and Sarah DeGraw are Crook & The Bluff.
“Although there are some songs that feature tighter, more conventional blues-style songwriting ("Greenbriar Coal"), the most spine-tingling moments happen when Crook & the Bluff gradually build hypnotizing tension and then suddenly unleash all the power of their dual guitars, like on the deliciously wicked “Down to the Styx” which will blow your hair back” -City Weekly (3.5 out of 4 stars)
“The intensity of their music closely resembles the energy they obtain from the wilderness, meshed with grinding blues. Progressive psychedelia is infused throughout, transforming jarringly from languid and hazy to wailing and droning with a heavy dose of feedback, akin to The Troubles.” -SLUG Magazine [+]