The Crookes have got an undeniable local feel about them, and although having only met in Sheffield after their paths crossed at university, their brand of crafted indie music seems suited to the culture and history of the city. Throughout the album you can get a sense of northern angst that surrounds them while trying to recreate and reinvent popular 80s rock to suit the modern style and changing times. The compelling drumbeats and urgency to each track certainly helps The Crookes pull this off beautifully.
Each track sounds well crafted, and even with some moderate success they still give the impression of a band playing to local pubs and bars and wherever they can get a break. One of the stand out tracks is that of ‘Godless Girl’ where in tune with their personified songs the band sings “And we’ll pretend like we’re angry young men”. The repetition in chorus and verse as well as the dramatic melody makes this a nice start to an album that continues in the same vein. The band continue to throw out gritty tracks that again bring you back down to earth where other artists would often attempt to develop something larger than life.
Yet although the band would originally seem to be presented in a hard graft sort of way, there are remains of the element of the hopeless romantic among them. This is seen in the urgent tempos of ‘Bloodshot Days’ but also in a softer, more understanding way in ‘City of Lights’ which although slow, builds up appropriately to become a very strong and meaningful track.
Growing up and making sense of the world is something that remains at the core of Chasing After Ghosts. The album has a strong tone throughout, and shows you the band’s solidarity and ability to present a well polished piece of work. Comparisons have been made quite clearly with The Smiths and in particular Morrissey’s lyrical style, which bodes well for the future of the band. Each track is charming enough, but there remains a problem as to whether the band can expand on their potential tracks and perhaps add more depth and expansion to some of their tracks. There shouldn’t be so much need for The Crookes to be downbeat any more.
Good: Polished and focussed alternative music
Bad: Limited new appeal or shock factor.