Sheffield band The Crookes have garnered critical acclaim since hitting the indie scene in 2008 yet never quite achieved the mass popularity they deserved. Perhaps it’s the fact they hail from the city that has produced chart regulars such as Pulp and Arctic Monkeys that’s stopping the band from hitting the big time but, if anything is going to help, it is Lucky Ones.

On opening track Brand New Start it becomes clear that the band have succeeded in achieving the perfect balance between Soapbox and Hold Fast. Desperately romantic lyrics are paired faultlessly with echoey vocals that only serve to sweep you along in the emotion. The music also teases at what’s to come before you are hit with the immediately catchy The World Is Waiting. If any song is to sum the band, it is this one; simple and repetitive lyrics and aggressive guitar show that less is more and this band is the expert. I Wanna Waste My Time On You harks back to the golden age of The Cure and it is easy to imagine Robert Smith belting out these lyrics proudly, a credit to lead vocalist George Waite.

In an interview, the band said there would only be one sad song on the album, and, in my opinion, it is If Only For Tonight. The lyrics are no more Smith–esque than usual, the melody no different to the rolling beats they employ so skillfully, yet it feels strangely reflective. It doesn’t put a downer on the album though, more marks a turning point, with The Lucky Ones following, juxtaposing questioning lyrics with the resounding certainty of the drum. Six Week Holiday and Real Life may not be the most catchy songs on the album but the band can afford that on such a strong album.

Besides, they are two of the most relatable songs about the pressure of time and the struggles of real life, swirling around in angsty rhythm. Roman Candle pays homage to all the great elements of the eighties; Morrissey’s howling vocals (“these days are run away”), the intro of electronica and the numerous rock bands started in someone’s garage. No One Like You uses the same intro as Roman Candle just without the electronica before it calls in B.N.S Pt II. Stylistically the same as the opener, it is the fitting way to end an album that has demonstrated good music can still be found, buried beneath the endless covers and DJ’s that the charts house today. If there is any justice in the world, The Crookes will gain the popularity they deserve and fill the stadiums their music is made to be played in.

8/10

For fans of: The Maccabees, Little Comets, Tribes
Words by Clara Duffy

‘Lucky Ones’ by The Crookes is out now on Anywhere Records.

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