The Crookes – Soapbox

Source:  The Crookes – Soapbox    Tag:  crookes

The Sheffield four piece returned in April with their 3rd installment ‘Soapbox’. As they are about to end their current UK tour we revisit what is surely to be a mainstay in the end of year top 10 polls.

Last year’s ‘Hold Fast’ album saw the band adopt a more aggressive attitude to their exploration of US rock n roll music. The opener ‘Play Dumb’ begins with said combative guitars but also adopts synths which evoke memories of The Cure circa ‘Pornography’. These subtle touches pop up throughout the album demonstrating yet another step up in class from the band.

As ever with the Crookes, the lyrics are fantastic. Daniel Hopewell has consistently churned out the goods but on ‘Soapbox’ he has hit top form. ‘Echolalia’ is a melancholic look at repeating the same mistakes whilst attempting to move on from a former love:

‘I should brush aside what The Strangers tell me,
That those on the outside are born to be lonely,
Still I keep chasing the cheap fix ‘til I wake from this crisis on my own,
My mind unfolds and I resolve to forget her but still I hear the echoes come the low.’

Songwriter Hopewell’s sorrow laden take on the human condition to belong and simultaneously be individualistic is a triumph and should be heard by everyone!

For anyone who, in the naivety of youth fell so hopelessly in love they had no idea what the rest of the world was up to then ‘Holy Innocents’ is a must listen. Not since Kevin Sampson’s ‘Stars Are Stars’ novel has a young burning love been so intelligibly illustrated:

 ‘I just wanna hide like holy innocents,
I met you at the fountain outside the station,
Nothing else mattered ‘cept dumb conversation
Our world in holy innocence’

The piece de resistance of the album and the track that sums up The Crookes more than any other is ‘Outsiders’. This is an anthem for anyone who treads the snakebite sodden floors of their indie disco and sinks too many red stripes at the local 200 capacity gig venue. If anyone ever wanted to make a mix-tape to depict the character of Jimmy from Quadrophenia this track has to be on it.

The current cultural climate is far less tribal than the era or mods, rockers, punks and skins but this only serves to make this song better. It is easy for a wolf to don some sheep’s clothing these days but make no mistakes, The Crookes are the real deal. Also, in Hopewell they have lyricist who should be given as much airtime as possible so his words can make you laugh, cry and inspired.