Cody Beebe and The Crooks: Out Here Review

From the dirty opening lick of “Alleyway” through the trembling violin sweeps of “Counting Sheep,” Cody Beebe & The Crooks dip into multiple genres on Out Here, their sophomore effort released on May 7, 2013. The 11-track album takes the listener on an interesting journey – while album opener “Alleyway” leads the charge with a blues-tinged sound, the grit and power changes form as the Seattle quintet redirects their focus on later tracks to emphasize their Americana roots. More a cocktail of diverse musical styles than a straightforward blues record, Out Here offers a unique range of sounds individualized to the tastes of each band member.

On the official press release for the album, Out Here is described as “a big rock and roll hug,” a fitting comparison that seems to justly portray the band’s embrace of genres ranging everywhere from Americana, blues, funk, and alternative rock. The album begins with a strong string of roots-driven tracks spiced with bluesy grooves. As “Alleyway” and “Hold the Line” set a swift rock ‘n roll mood early on, “Never Too Young” tugs on the reins a bit while retaining an alternative bluesy feel. It doesn’t take long for Cody Beebe & The Crooks to shake things up; though the entire album sticks to an underlying roots-rock theme, tracks like “Out Here” and “Sweep” reveal the band’s interest in mixing genres. The beautiful twinkling piano sprinkled throughout “Never Too Young” headlines on “Sweep,” transforming into a majestic presence that makes for an utterly beautiful song, even if it does shift the band more towards alternative rock than roots or blues. The violin cameo on album closer “Counting Sheep” further demonstrates the band’s expansive musical range as they incorporate instruments not typically associated with blues and rock music.

On their 2009 debut Friends of the Old Mill, Cody Beebe & The Crooks set a precedent for rock experimentation, something they execute well on Out Here. Joined by producer John Goodmanson, Cody Beebe & The Crooks have on their latest record pulled together a collection that cannot be assigned a blanket label. Providing a little bit of everything with a strong roots and alternative rock undercurrent, Out Here is an enticing continuation of the eclectic musical styles that Cody Beebe & The Crooks are quickly becoming known for.

The Review: 7/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Alleyway
– Hold the Line
– Never Too Young
– Sweep

The Big Hit

– Alleyway

Review by Meghan Roos

Buy the album:  iTunes

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