The Crookes

Sad Boys Club - Silverlined

Ever listened to the 1975 and seriously questioned their substance? Well, don’t bother anymore. Listen to Sad Boys Club instead. Their infectious Cure drive pop music may edge towards middle of road but is always a comfortable distance away.

The new single from the Crouch End outfit has that distinct Springsteen open road escape to it, similar their former label mates The Crookes in many ways. The pop breeziness of the music is the perfect metaphor for this tail of putting up social barriers to who we really are.

With a new EP due November 2nd, Sad Boys Club are surely going to be garnering a lot of interest this winter on this showing.

The Crookes - Lucky Ones

The Crookes are always a difficult band to review because they better read than any journalist. We might read Kerouac, Thompson and Ginsberg, they embody them. 2014’s ‘Soapbox’ introduced a darker tone to their repertoire with the introduction of Depeche Mode synths but, ‘Lucky Ones’, witnesses a return to their romantic pop music roots.

The Crookes have always been expanding on their archetypal romantic rock n roll sound since their debut. ‘Lucky Ones’ continues their journey with synths but this time, its into a world of lo-fi pop music.

‘Roman Candle’, at its core, is nothing the Crookes hasn’t done before. It’s light, dreamy and infectious but, the use of synths definitely takes them to pastures new. Without sounding like New Order, they embody the spirit of their Manchester peers with this carefree record.

The notion of escape and being on a journey is rife throughout ‘Lucky Ones’. There is an overarching sense they have escaped Sheffield for route 66 in an open top Cadillac. ‘No One Like You’ allows anyone to picture such a scene with a loved one and ponder how great life can be at times. The slight gravel in Waite’s vocal towards the end will have men yearning to be him and women falling at his feet.

‘The Lucky Ones’ acts as pre-cursor to this road trip.  Our hero is determined to convince their partner in crime that they could be the lucky one. This is track has that same remarkable quality Oasis’ ‘Live Forever’ had. This type of song writing is a gift for bored office workers and tradesman alike. It gives a visualisation of dreams, hope and plans for freedom.

There is so much to admire with every Crookes album and ‘Lucky Ones’ is no different. Yet again they have expanded their sound without losing sight of their inner poet which makes them great. The essence of The Smiths and 50s rock n roll is still core to their beauty but now they diversified towards other greats such as Depeche mode and The Cure.

‘Lucky Ones’ might not be their best album but now their song writing is delving into broader themes for hope and escape, the chances of bigger audiences surely await.

The Crookes - The Lucky Ones

Sheffield's The Crookes feel like a brand new band every time they resurface with new material for several reasons. Firstly, THEY NEVER EFFING AGE!!!! Secondly, and more importantly, they continue to add layers to their 50's rock n roll via The Smiths sound.

Previous album 'Soapbox' had their hardest guitar sound to date and was without doubt, the most free spirited they have ever sounded. New single 'Lucky Ones' continues down this path but the levels of experimentation have been upped with the inclusion of synths and fuzzy basslines.

As ever though, its the carefree attitude to The Crookes which makes them so appealing. As the chorus breaks joy, love and hope are brought back to life in the alternative pop world.

As Wait sings 'Oh come on / Don't you wanna be the lucky one / It goes on and on / Like staring at the sun / Do you wanna be the lucky one' the feeling that lovers are on a journey or best friends are making plans no-one else will understand looms large. Their ambition, quality and infectiousness cannot be ignored for another album, can it?

The dream of being a great poet and a life affirming band doesn't appeal quite so much now big record deals are off the table. The Crookes though, buck this trend, and this new single are demonstrating just how much can still be achieved.

The track is available on Spotify: