So after long months of anticipation, The Crookes second album, Hold Fast, is finally out! I waited til one but i fell asleep, sorry. Here’s a review anyway…..

The 10 songs in 33 minutes cramming #newpop marathon thunders to a start with first single Afterglow, it still has the same effect as it did when i reviewed it the first time round, pure genius from start to finish, if you’re not dancing already, what’s wrong?

Then comes latest single Maybe In The Dark , again a pop gem, from the bassy verses to the guitar fueled chorus it’s brilliant, you will know every word by the end of the day.

Stars doesn’t halt the brilliance of the album either, melancholic lyrics are all about being under the stars,of course, dancing & such but it’s still full of the usual crookes joy….Then we have American Girls, another previously debuted track that basically defines new pop, clapping, lots of guitar, effortless vocals; generally flawless.

Next comes The Cooler King, it was the acoustic encore at their show back in May and is just as brilliant on the album, throwing you back to 50’s America for a minute or two, by far my favourite on the album for it’s pure danceability.

Contrasting this, title track Hold Fast restarts the album’s fueled-by-guitar nature of the album, complete with crashing drums, poppy synths and a catchy “oooh” for good measure.

Sal Paradise was also played throughout their May tour and too sounds just as class on record, much more melancholic  & chilled than the previous tracks that immediately slows the album without any bad effects at all, it all flows into one dreamlike guitary piece of summer.

Like prior tracks, Sofie too shows an undeniable 60s  rock influence that The Crookes seem to have captured so well and is another one of the album’s many catchy, classic guitar pop tunes – it also too feels a bit like Babyshambles, guitarwise, never a bad thing.

Penultimately, Where Did Our Love Go?  masks the downhearted feel of the lyrics with yet more of that guitar joy before The I Love You Bridge brings Hold Fast to it’s rawest with a powerful, down to earth vocal throughout and closes the album in the most majestic, yet humble, of ways.

Personally I think Hold Fast is genius, there’s not a noticeable low point & it’s newpop greatness that does all that it was meant for and more. I shall be playing my vinyl repeatedly for a while yet…

Decide for yourselves here.

On a completely unrelated note, I have to mention how gutted I am to see Rounder Records have to shut it’s doors, I only discovered it last month & it’s just the best record store i’ve ever been to, I intend to make a rush trip & grab some final records next week, losing faith in humanity when illegal downloads & such do this to places of real, existing value…modern life is rubbish.