A gruelling listen for Crook's fourth album
Dour as a set jawline and hard work like cleaning ovens, DIY merchant Mr Crook’s fourth is partly a cathartic exercise following the death of his friend and collaborator The MRS. Working through the aftermath, it reflects on gruelling sobriety ([b]‘Mantra 29’[/b]) and broken relationships ([b]‘The Domestic’[/b]) via bitter, barbed folk-rock.
While it’s refreshing to listen to someone who realises folk is about MISERY and DEATH and POVERTY, for the listener it offers little in the way of reward for the emotional slog, and when the black sneering spit of Crook’s vocal occasionally relents as on [b]‘Chasing Dragons’[/b], you’re left with a fairly unremarkable singer-songwriter. Return to sender, we’re afraid.