The Crookes - Chasing After Ghosts - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Crookes - Chasing After Ghosts

by Emily Bielby Rating:9 Release Date:2011-04-01

Eighties influenced Indie might not always make for a rewarding listen, but this will be one you'll want to seek out. Sheffield based old romantics The Crookes recount tales of lives and love as they continue their musical adventure with their debut Chasing After Ghosts. With a look and sound resembling soft-core Libertines and The Smiths being an obvious influence throughout, they set out to woo fans with their poetic tales of everyday life with a vintage feel.

Opening track 'Godless Girl' is full of soulful passions, mixed up with echoey, 80s styled vocals. Inspired by a picture in a 1970s American newspaper photograph, it's evidently the most original track on the album, unlike 'The Crookes Laundry Murder, 1922' which sees George Waite howl, "Take me back to 1922...." and you almost forget who you're listening to; I think, even Mr Morrissey himself would do a double- take. Lead singer Waite breathlessly croons like a cleaner, softer Pete Doherty and expresses grief like Morrissey at his finest. It's a shame the old home-fashioned acoustic rawness that these guys executed so well on the Dreams of Another Day EP can only slightly be heard on the glossy pages of this debut, but excitable banjos and guitars make up for it; and makes the band's music even more irresistible.

Paced more quickly, 'Blood Shot Days' offers perhaps the most chart-friendly offering, with hints of what we'll call doo-wop and echoed choruses along with marching band drums which take you back to the 60s; from a band who include The Ronettes among their influences, I'm unsurprised by its sound. 'Just Like Dreamers' comes straight from the British Indie Textbook, rolling guitars and heartfelt vocals from Waite, who effortlessly extracts every ounce of emotion from the upbeat melancholic melody, another Morrissey sound-a-like. 'Bright Young Things' even has a guitar riff that's been lifted straight from Manchester's finest, but 'By the Seine' is an interesting step away from the North.

Although it lacks originality slightly, it's catchy, clever and optimistic enough to impress and while there may only be a couple of chart-topping cuts; The Crookes definitely deserve credit. Unlike most bands from Sheffield, the Yorkshire born-and-bred band stuck around, while others fled to London to find fame and fortune and unfortunately they found themselves with a starved imagination instead. While most Indie bands these days produce songs which kick about on the same streets that so many have before, The Crookes have a specific talent - being able to make a song sound interesting, regardless of the obscure subject matter; and for that we love them.

If the seven tracks on Dreams Another Day captured a young band striving to find their feet, then Chasing After Ghosts sees The Crookes succeed. Good old-fashioned, heart-breaking Indie-pop and it's wonderful.

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