The Crookes: Hold Fast (Fierce Panda Records)

crookes | The Crookes: Hold Fast (Fierce Panda Records)Assembled whilst at university in Sheffield, The Crookes quartet have adopted the city as their own. Hold Fast is the follow-up to the well received Chasing After Ghosts, with this second album carrying on where its predecessor left off. There is an obvious progression although at its heart this is still high brow post-Britpop.

The album opens in bright and vibrant fashion with the jolly, up-tempo ‘Afterglow’. This track features a typically indie yet impressive vocal with equally good backing. From the outset it’s clear that this album is going to be quirky indie-pop with catchy choruses and up-beat guitars. The lyrics would be more fitting of love poems than pop songs, but the contrast works well. Wordsmith and guitarist Daniel Hopewell is clearly well-read.

The next two songs are of a similar style with nineties sounding instrumentation and a vocal delivery reminiscent of Morrissey. The fourth track ‘American Girls’ takes a different direction, this time the vocals and music are of a similar style to Buddy Holly, a sound which continues into the next track ‘The Cooler King’.

Then comes the album’s title track ‘Hold Fast’, a combination of the previous styles. The chorus is infectious and the breakdown provides a perfect jumping point before it kicks in for the final time.

The Crookes demonstrate their diversity throughout with fast upbeat numbers like ‘Hold Fast’and slow, melodic and poetic tracks like ‘Sal Paradise’. The band are also prolific purveyors of the catchy chorus, it is a pleasure to have ‘Sofie’ and ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ stuck in your head.

The album finishes with ‘The I Love You Bridge’ a raw, moving, love poem with stripped back guitar parts.

Hold Fast is available as a download, vinyl or CD on Fierce Panda Records from the 9th of July. It will be snapped up by their followers, who the band have affectionately christened ‘the bright young things’.

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