Sludgy, slow-burning, and oh so compelling, West Michigan’s Crooked Spires are making a defining statement with their latest music video for “Gorge.” The video matches the equally slow-burning pace of the song, as the trio confidently, and may we say quite calmly, delight you with their cool poise and spirit.

Specializing in evocative, stylistic psych-rock, the band shows a certain level of instrumental skill that was more common of the alternative rock boom of the 1990s. You can certainly hear the influences; the sludgy Black Sabbath-like riffs, the nonchalant grunge-like approach to playing, and the lo-fi production that emphasizes all of the beautiful, little imperfections.

Inspired by the angst and anxiety of the spring and summer of 2020, “Gorge” was written with a lot of discontent and bottled-up anxiety. You can feel that seething anger within the song, a reaction to the choices and decisions, or lack thereof, made by the Washington elites. It’s an important reminder to not let time just diminish the failure and struggle that we have all experienced first-hand in the last 18 months.

In regards to the song, frontman Christian Nikkel shares,

“This track is meant to convey and document in some ways the feelings of frustration with the rampant spread of misinformation, lies to cover up the failed inadequate response of the administration at the time along with the rest of the chaos and anger at the preventable deaths caused by the lack of response to the pandemic at the hands of our government.”

Nikkel and his rock brethren, Thom Vandervelden and Jude Lolley, initially wrote “Gorge” at the outset of the lockdown, but left it as nothing more than just a quick demo that was a quick response to what they were observing in the news. As time passed, the band began to feel more strongly about the song and by this past March, they decided to record a studio version.

They tried to capture the growing discord that was developing during this time and the confusion and uncertainty that was all wrapped up within it. Their first new music since the release of their 2020 self-recorded full-length, “Gorge” will make you a quick believer in Crooked Spires and remind you of how much you missed the exquisiteness of sludge rock.

Artwork for “Gorge” by Crooked Spires