Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Crooks - Just Released - 1980

The Crooks' Just Released originally appeared in England in 1980 on the Blueprint label, where its '60s-influenced mod revival sound made it into a cult favorite. The record, built almost entirely on originals by co-founder Tim Parry (aka "Jimmy Fingers"), still rocks with a lean, powerful sound strongly reminiscent of the Jam -- everything here is well played and fervently sung, but even with the occasional Chris Dean number interspersed, there's a certain sameness to the songs. The best song here is the muscular cover of the Steve Marriott/Ronnie Lane-authored "Understanding," and there's nothing quite as memorable as the single "Modern Boys," with its catchy hooks and chorus, or its B-side "Bangin' My Head," neither of which was on this LP. Among the four players, Parry and Dean make a great guitar duo, and Chris Broderick's bass work is astonishingly fluid and nimble, but Micky Sparrow's drumming is still the most impressive component of the band's sound a quarter-century later -- if this band was compared to the Who (and they were), it was his playing that helped cast that illusion. ~ Bruce Eder



Repaired track 6