The Crookes – Chasing After Ghosts

written by: April 5, 2011
The Crookes - Chasing After Ghosts album cover Release Date: March 7, 2011


So often listeners are forced to deconstruct complicated situations with overbearing lyrics and difficult metaphors. It’s a relief to know that The Crookes don’t ask much of their audience. 

This first record highlights stories of “dancing under the streetlights” and “a breeze during lonely nights” accompanied by simple riffs and continuous rhythms. These smooth sounds help listeners understand certain elements of simple scenarios that make the album unique and limitless. Although this could be perceived as boring or lifeless, there is plenty of substance in Chasing After Ghosts, which carries the record in the right direction.

Listeners are entertained, but not congested. They are inspired, but not burdened.

The style of Chasing After Ghosts is inevitably British, which promises a hint of classic and European with every scent of contemporary. The flowing electric guitar is usually a constant strum or an echoey hum. The bass drum slams heavily throughout the record, and in lighter songs, things become more diverse, as newer sounds (tambourine) make things more interesting. It’s easy to find hints of The Smiths throughout the record, and many of the tones attributed to it are comparable to those of Kings of Leon mixed with Explosions in the Sky and even Wavves. But maybe that’s a stretch. Either way, the accent makes it that much sexier.

The Crookes deserve applause because they identify with both vintage and vogue and don’t get caught in the middle like so many artists do.

One brilliant element to Chasing After Ghosts is the constant theme of light. It’s not only present in the titles of two songs but in the lyrical work of many others. It serves as a storyteller and a hypnotic paintbrush for all things audio and visual. When listeners hear about light in the street, the mood is dark. When they sing about city lights, the beat is fast-paced. It’s straightforward, but it still has depth.

There are some solid and striking examples in the middle of the album, such as the mysterious and experimental “Crookes Laundry Murder, 1922” and the end of the slower jam “Youth,” where there is an audible pickup in speed and emotion. However, The Crookes’ immaturity is evident in the latter part of the record. Perhaps the band suffered from a lack of inspiration or a variety of moods for each of their tunes. The last three songs are not any less exciting to listen to, but they don’t manage to set themselves apart as individuals, which creates a quiet exit in album closer “City of Lights.”

Though the energy gradually declines, there is legitimacy in the work of the Crookes. Chasing After Ghosts is a testament to the simplicity and lightness in a body of complicated work.

The Crookes – Chasing After Ghosts Tracklist:

  1. “Godless Girl”
  2. “Chorus of Fools”
  3. “Just Like Dreamers”
  4. “Bright Young Things”
  5. “The Crookes Laundry Murder, 1922”
  6. “Youth”
  7. “I Remember Moonlight”
  8. “Bloodshot Days”
  9. “Carnabetian Charms”
  10. “By the Seine”
  11. “City of Lights”