Sheffield band The Crookes have returned with their fourth studio album, titled Lucky Ones, accompanied with a full UK tour this February and European and USA excursions not long after.
Lucky Ones is a 10-track wonder which lets go of all the bitter anger of Soapbox and the blind hope of Hold Fast; it lands somewhere in the middle, grasping onto whistful charms yet not taking things for granted. The Crookes’ feet remain firmly on the ground and, if they had their way, they’re constantly running forwards.
When I spoke to the band’s guitarist/lyricist Daniel Hopewell almost a year ago, he told me there’s “only one sad song” on the new record. Trouble is, I’ve yet to figure out which song he means. The album opens with ‘Brand New Start’, an atmospheric synth-tune which holds only echoes of The Crookes’ original (somewhat self-destructive) style; “I’m not asking you to save me / but it would be nice if you would.” It’s a simple introduction to the LP, where ‘B.N.S. Pt. II’ forms its conclusion.
The band’s recent singles, ‘The World Is Waiting’ and ‘I Wanna Waste My Time On You’, stand out on this album, bringing out all of the energy you would expect in a live show. They’re perfect tracks to get you dancing; full of noise and a quick beat that will soon be heard in venues all across the world.
Title track ‘Lucky Ones’ is worthy of the band’s next single as lead singer George Waite spits out the enticing line, “Oh, come on, come on / don’t you wanna be a lucky one?” You know it holds a sinister edge; being a ‘lucky one’ isn’t all what it seems, and it’s likely to be the end of you. The Crookes have injected synth-pop into their usual indie sound, taking inspiration from 80’s pop music and giving it a modern shine. It’s a quirky combination and it’s enough to persuade you for a second listen.
‘Roman Candle’ follows the mind of Jack Kerouac, whose work has influenced a number of The Crookes’ songs, capturing notions of wanderlust and favouring a brief, yet colourful, life over any dull and repetitive affair. This band would rather take risks just to see what happens than leave someone else to call the shots – they set up their own record label (Anywhere Records) to do exactly that.
The Crookes have captured the frustrations of a young generation caught between the lines; is it better to seek adventure, or is that simply running away? Maybe it’s both, and that’s okay. Lucky Ones is an album for those who haven’t quite figured out the complexities of adulthood, but they’ve already left adolescence behind. Maybe there’s hope for us, after all.
Watch The Crookes’ latest music video, The World Is Waiting, below:
The Crookes are going out on tour to support their album next week, supported by punk singer-songwriter Misty Miller.
(w/ Misty Miller)
Jan 30th – Scunthorpe – Cafe Indiependent
Feb 1st – Lincoln – The Engine Shed
Feb 2nd – Nottingham – The Bodega
Feb 3rd – Leeds – The Wardrobe
Feb 4th – Stoke – The Sugarmill
Feb 5th – Birmingham – The Rainbow
Feb 6th – Leicester – Soundhouse
Feb 7th – Norwich – Studio // The Waterfront
Feb 9th – Doncaster – Diamond Live
Feb 10th – Hull – The New Adelphi Club
Feb 11th – Derby – Radar Love // The Venue
Feb 12th – York – The Duchess
Feb 13th – Newcastle – Think Tank?
Feb 14th – Glasgow – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
Feb 16th – Preston – The Blitz
Feb 17th – Bristol – The Louisiana
Feb 18th – Cardiff – The Globe
Feb 19th – Liverpool – Studio 2
Feb 20th – Manchester – Sound Control
Feb 21st – Southampton – The Maple Leaf (Home of the Talking Heads)
Feb 23rd – Brighton – The Hope And Ruin
Feb 24th – London – Oslo
Feb 25th – Kingston – New Slang // The Hippodrome
Feb 27th – Sheffield – The Leadmill
Tickets, and information on EU/USA tour dates, are available here: thecrookes.co.uk/tour-dates