The Crookes – Bear’s Blood/Dance in Colour (Fierce Panda)
Release date May 27th
The Crookes have put aside their ukuleles and turned into Angry Young Men. For Louder Than War Martin Leay listens in and samples the beer.
Less than a year after The Crookes’ NewPop reinvention on second album Hold Fast, Sheffield’s erstwhile jingle-janglers have pushed things forward once again with this forthcoming Fierce Panda release.
On Bear’s Blood, The Crookes have downed the ukuleles, plugged in their distortion pedals and turned the amps up to 11. This is unashamedly BIG – massive riffs, hench drums and lyrics about the ethereal blood of Greek Gods inspired by a potent drink the band discovered on tour in Slovenia. Legend has it the mysterious drink was brewed by a hermit who lived out in the woods and only he knew exactly what went into it.
The Crookes have even got their own beer coming out to coincide with the single’s release. Soon you’ll be able to sample their 4.2% golden ale (made from malts and hops rather than the bodily fluids of mammals) in pubs across Sheffield and selected alehouses around the North of England. If it’s anything like the original, a couple of pints will send you tumbling down the nearest rabbit hole. Cool.
Dance in Colour is more of an adventure into the known than its double A side but it is not without progression. Clocking in at just under 5 minutes, it starts nice and gentle before building up to crashing drum rolls and frenetic guitars which reflect the chaotic love craved by the song’s protagonist before giving way to a more reflective piano interlude. It sounds to me like Everything Must Go era Manics, a comparison justified by the ambition that can be heard on this single.
This isn’t wistful indie and it isn’t dreamy NewPop. It is the sound of The Crookes turning into the Angry Young Men whose work they channelled in their early songs. The Crookes are throwing everything at hitting the Big Time and with their biggest London headline show to date at the Scala on the 21st May, things are on the up. Don’t miss the chance to hear these new songs live and LOUD. I’ll be on the Bear’s Blood.