Retro Crooks - Conrad Dangerfield

Liam McGrady 02/08/2008

Rating: 4/5

Love songs that don't end where they start? Love Good Shoes before they went and recorded a duff album? Character songs where the protagonist realises the girl isn't really for him over a Pizza Hut buffet? Perfect, you'll love Retro Crooks then.

This self release from the Enfield four piece breaks pretty much every rule in the great pop song writing handbook; yet still manages to be bafflingly brilliant. Words tumble from frontman Tom's mouth at a staggering pace, grammatical nightmares that really shouldn't work but do - “All that I am wishing is for a Vegetable Supreme to roll out of the kitchen until that happens I will keep on sipping this expensive soft drink with far too much ice in it” is a good example - and that fact that they ditch the spiky new wave guitars and gurgling bass for a swinging sing-a-long halfway through shows a charming naivety. It's like Franz Ferdinand's 'Take Me Out', but fun not arch; with a youthful swagger not ageing posturing. In just over three and a half minutes and across two time signatures, the jangly fret-work and snappy percussion mark Retro Crooks out as a great little guitar band.

Tell you what else is great: 'Conrad Dangerfield', ace made up name.