Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Review: The Crookes - Chasing After Ghosts

The Crookes debut album is a rather pleasant old fashioned indie rock album that doesn't create too much excitement or adoration. They do very well on 'Chorus Of Fools' and 'Just Like Dreamers', which both showcase lively Smiths-esque guitar work and charming melodies, and then there's the brilliant 'Bloodshot Days', full of jangly guitars and boasting the brightest tune on the album. However the album demonstrates a lack of diversity, and sticking with the singer's voice for a whole album does become a chore. On some tracks they know how to come up with great catchy riffs but fail to use them to best effect, like on the opening 'Godless Girl', which isn't a bad song but just passes by without causing too much fuss, and the nice guitar melodies on 'Bright Young Things' cannot save the track being a bit flimsy. Another smart guitar hook arrives on 'Carnabetian Charms' but it also falls flat songwriting-wise. Another problem can be found on 'I Remember Moonlight', where the vibrant chorus suffers from being followed by a meandering verse that loses the song, and a similar thing happens on 'The Crookes Laundry Murder 1922', which has a nice Gene-like chorus but not much else of any excitement. Excitement isn't overly present on 'Youth' either, but in this case it doesn't matter due to the calming build up to its dreamy climax of soaring reverb-heavy guitar.... definitely a highlight. So is 'By The Seine' which manages to combine the lively aspects of the band's sound with the intelligent calming aspects of the slower tracks. 'City Of Lights' is OK but not spectacular, providing a fitting end to this record. It's a nice enough album of nice songs, but with about four memorable tracks that rise above everything else here. So a patchy debut, but still a promising band. 6.5/10

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