If you’re anything like me, and I know many of you are, you grew up on a lot of ’80s and ’90s-era British guitar pop. Why? In my case, Brit bands seemed allowed a larger breadth of sensitivity and intelligence than their constantly macho Yankee colleagues. And, of course, there are those accents: romantic, working class, exotic and endlessly cool. Has the sound aged? Certainly. But in the end, haven’t we all?
Sheffield, England’s The Crookes, touring in support of their latest release Lucky Ones, recall many bands from that golden age of British indie pop. Throughout the new record, tempos exhilarate while keys stay minor and chiming guitar riffs and synth-pop hooks undercut soaring choruses and wordy, literate verses.
Don’t even get me started on the band’s press photos in a musty old used bookshop with charmingly mussed-up British schoolboy hair and collared shirts.
The leadoff single, “The World is Waiting,” mixes shuffling British pub rock with Modern English. Vocalist George Waite captures those teenage moments when he sings: “I don’t wanna stay in but I don’t know where to go.” And elsewhere, from “I Wanna Waste My Time On You,” he sing-croons alongside a Psychedelic Furs-like guitar line: “I don’t know where I belong/ I don’t know where I’ve gone wrong.”
Oh, be still my teenaged heart — and teenaged hearts everywhere, young and old.
Get ready to pogo when The Crookes play with Great Grandpa and The Young Wild 9 pm Saturday, Sept. 17, at WOW Hall; $10 advance, $12 door, 21-plus.