A few weeks back we had the opportunity to catch Crooks (UK) live on the “Younger Dreams“ European tour alongside Palisades and Our Last Night. We’ve been waiting to see this powerful and unique band perform for a while, so at Plug-In we decided to tell you a few things about those four lads who are slowly taking over the “alternative scene”.
Composed of Josh, Jake, Rob, and Jacob four guys from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in the UK, Crooks formed in 2010 and are often described as a “dark/post/melodic/hardcore” band. Indeed, the band has been touring with Being As An Ocean in October 2014 and appeared to be well blended in with that type of bands thanks to their melodic sounds although it is very unique and doesn’t really fit anywhere because of its own vibe and a more punk/alternative side at times too. The proof of that is their recent first full-length album “Are We All The Same Distance Apart” which is dark, filled with emotions but also heavy and melodic with stand out tracks such as Above Me, Dear Reader or A Few Peaceful Days. In fact, the band had a whole concept in mind when they started with a four-song EP “Nevermore” in 2011 but the band decided to re-record them and make some changes to these few tracks in order to give the songs a new breath and keep going with that concept they originally initiated their sound with. And the whole thing made their first album, out under Equal Vision Records on October 30th.
“Are We All The Same Distance Apart” introduces Crooks as a modern hardcore band with clear vocals although we can’t really describe their sound, as it really takes you to a one of a kind universe despite its similarities with other bands in the genre. To really understand how Crooks transported us into their world, here’s how their set went on.
That night at Le Trabendo the three bands had something very different, musically speaking. They each had their way of interacting with the crowd, in their own style. Crooks were opening the night with Palisades before Our Last Night and surely was on fire, conquering the few people already in the venue to hear them play. It was their first time playing to a French crowd although they were meant to play Paris once before on the Being As The Ocean tour but had to cancel that date due to some van issues. They played with a sort of casualty yet a lot of intensity and emotions. With a melodic post-hardcore that transported us somewhere else, the band played a nice range of songs giving us a good overview of what they can do live. It’s that intensity and such a variety of feelings that to us make them unique and on the spot right now. What hit us when they played are the heartfelt songs often finding their strength in well-composed crescendo songs going from melodic and calm to energetic screams…But the band also offered instrumental intros and songs so different as a whole that they can sometimes be separated into different parts.
All in all Crooks sounded like a typical UK band but they had this undeniable personal touch that added something indescribable to their set. In our minds (and after listening to their new album on repeat) Crooks can be introduced as the perfect band for a chilled rainy afternoon warmed up in a blanket, as much of an « autumn/winter » cliché as it sounds. Crooks is the band whose music can suit many occasions and we’d advise you to keep an eye on.
To be honest the genres were varied that night and Crooks came out as something different, something we’re not used to hearing around as much and mostly the band appeared as a real treasure. Crooks was very grateful to play in France for the first time, and especially Paris which is always nice to witness. Good thing the crowd didn’t seem to disappoint! It’s clear that the band finds its strength in the singer with his voice a bit broken and filled with emotions. He manages to underline meaningful lyrics, translate a lot of different feelings and therefore transports us into the band’s own universe. The band’s energy on top of heartfelt and intense songs stood out live, even when you didn’t know the band. And it’s true that opening a gig to a new crowd is a tough one but the band put their heart into this first performance, jumping around and sharing as much as possible, showing us what they can do onstage despite a 20min performance.
Indeed, Crooks created a connection with the fans; their energy and the power they put in their performance convinced more than one as the band definitely brought their own vibe to Le Trabendo and conquered our (almost) grown ups hearts. That gig completely won us over and probably was one of many more to come for Crooks. All this made their first performance in Paris a complete success and with « Are We All The Same Distance Apart » the band offered us a nice album for this end of year which will hopefully make Crooks cross over again soon. So go have a listen and support them; it kind is that sort of new breath and energy you need towards that time of year… And honestly what’s the harm in giving it a try?
Words : Roxy S.
Full album : Crooks | Paris 2015