Taking their name from an artsy, bohemian suburb of Sheffield, where the members met while studying English Literature at University, the Crookes have, over the past couple of years, been frantically knocking out the kind of winsome, indie pop songs that bring to mind the Smiths or pre-‘Up the Bracket’ Libertines.
Serving as a cut-off point, bringing together a collection of the songs written while the band were still defining their sound and feeling their way, ‘Dreams of Another Day’ gives the band an opportunity to tie off any loose ends and air songs that might not otherwise have seen the light of day, before starting work afresh on their upcoming debut album. The sound of this 8-song EP may be a little ramshackle at times (on the quieter, home-recorded songs, singer George Waite sings into a wellington boot to create reverb) but that has it’s own charm and there is a warmth and intimacy to these moments that can be difficult to recapture in the studio.
While there is a mix of fasties and slowies here, it’s undoubtedly when they pick up the pace that the Crookes show why such luminaries as Steve Lamacq and Jarvis Cocker have been so effusive in their praise. Standout tracks ‘Backstreet Lovers’ (the first song that the band wrote together) and ‘The Collier’s Wife’ have enough charm and wit in them to keep you interested. It’s hard not to like the Crookes, with their exuberance and their romantic aspirations worn proudly on their sleeves. While this EP is a bit of a mixed bag, as an exercise in clearing the decks before recording their debut-proper, there’s reason enough here to suggest that if they play to their strengths the next chapter in their book could be quite the success story.
‘Dreams of Another Day’ is out now on Fierce Panda.