Discover CROOK ON THE WALL’s Superb Debut Single ‘Imperial Mind’

Published on 24 October 2023 at 18:46

Words: Max Bradfield


Back on the 14th of October, Manchester teen four-piece Crook On The Wall released their debut single ‘Imperial Mind’ and despite the band members’ collective youth – the track has a great nostalgia and weight beyond their years.


All four of the group fronted by Cole Johnson are no older than 16 – yet you could be fooled. Johnson’s voice possesses this great drama and a self-admitted Morrissey-esque presence. Guitar lines and tones are crisp and the track walks the line between imposing mystery and delightful intrigue; especially with the addition of brilliantly gothic layered backing vocals.


When I first pressed play, tubular guitars freshly injected with luscious reverb and powered by driving rhythm reminded me of Ride or even U2 in parts. Such a simple riff is effective in working its given space and territory to full effect.


Something refreshing about this group is that a distinctive personal sound is present, despite any inspirations. With new music firmly waiting in the pipeline, it’s interesting to think what they may cook up next as they cement themselves as main players in Manchester’s exciting new movement of musicians.


Imperial Mind’ was produced and mixed by Luke Owens (SHADE, Sarah Owens, Samm Hewitt) at Dusk till Dawn studio and holds on to this distinctive sound and refreshing take on how the next generation of artists are looking to create. 


Lyricism is vivid, if the instrumental talents weren’t enough already, as Johnson sings of the ‘Imperial Mind’ “draped in its purple robes”. The world talking with “its collective mouth” and there being a “mighty forgiver” is honestly quite impressive – clearly these aren’t your standard 16-year-old lads with imagery like this. 


As said, with new music soon to be arriving, Crook On The Wall are definitely worth keeping an ear out for – especially as more live shows get announced. In mainly supporting performances at Manchester Academy 3, Manchester’s Deaf Institute, and festivals like ‘NorthFest’ – a live presence grows as outings are slowly becoming renowned for being lively affairs.


Crook On The Wall are:

Cole Johnson (lead vocals & rhythm guitar)

Elliot Carson (lead guitar & backing vocals)

Adam Wood (bass guitar)

Ethan McCusker (drums)


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