Highlights: Chorus Of Fools, I Remember Moonlight
There’s no question that The Smiths are an inescapable influence on the whole British indie scene. But it looks like some bands have to get a little bit closer to the source than others. The Crookes write the kind of songs The Smiths could have written were Morrissey less depressed and Johnny Marr a merely capable guitarist. And (and this goes without saying) were they seriously lacking in memorable, articulate tunes.
Chasing After Ghosts is The Crookes’ debut, and , sadly, it commits the worst crime a debut album might commit: it’s rather boring. Where’s the punch, where are the gripping, inescapable hooks? It all gets lost amid that grey, jangly sadness of theirs. “Chorus Of Fool” is the standout, but it’s not as if it’s such a smashing classic or a potential hit single. It’s just that its lilting melody might be the album's strongest offering. I could also single out the choruses of “I Remember Moonlight” or “By The Seine”, but then... there’s nothing particularly wrong about the other songs. They are well-written, well-played and well-mumbled in that famed Morrissey-styled way. But… so what?
Intelligent, moderately catchy album. Good album. But so relentlessly NOT GREAT that you would have to wonder why anyone would seriously give a damn.