In the time it took me to write this review.. I could have eaten breakfast, had a shower, phoned my friend, tidied my shit pile of a room and then eat lunch. Instead I'm reviewing what could be the most pretentious Indie album of all time. Yes, It's that one by that band called The Cribs. The band who ironically released a single a few years prior called 'Hey Scenesters!', about the Indie scene and following trends and being generic. The Cribs basically fall back on their initial rebellion and release an album of Indie songs. Imagine David Cameron spending recent years fighting off the Labour party, then secretly voting for them in the general election. That's what The Cribs are.
Thunderous guitar hooks and energetic drumming can be heard almost instantly on the opener 'Our Bovine public'. The Jarman brothers can give a good harmony but it's overused. Even in a simplistic track the backing vocals just stick to me as necessary for the chorus. The song has a nice little left sided guitar but it's far too heavy on the ear which is a common theme on this album. The following track follows in the same fashion. 'Girls Like Mystery' has that hard hitting bass riff striking through the song. The guitar work is pretty standard and the song just passes over my ear before I have to to grasp anything other than the pretty simplistic and bland pre-chorus.
People will mention 'Mens Needs' when thinking about The Cribs. They're associated with it purely because of that Indie hype generation in 2007 where bands were charting Indie 'anthems' left right and centre. So the NME regime picked this song up and hyped it to the point of insanity. Don't get me wrong, it's a decent song with a stylistic chorus. The guitar riff sticks in my mind and it always brightens up my day whenever I hear it. It's a straight up Indie song with Lot's of distortion and fast playing guitar towards the end of the song to give it that cataclysmic effect of denouement.
"Oh my god, what is that awful noise!", was my initial reaction to 'Moving Pictures' when hearing it blasting out of my friends Apple earphones at school. This song has a blasting guitar riff on the left side but eventually flows over to the right as well. It's heavily distorted and incredibly overpowering. Producer Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand has really fucked them over with this song. The actual written content is by far the best on the album but the instrumental just doesn't fit and the vocals are incredibly hazy compared to previous track. I think Alex didn't want The Cribs overtaking his own band.
My eyes cant help but notice the album cover. To me, It represents the album perfectly. Two people.. One boy, one girl.. Late at night, who have just gone to the picture house and are arguing that she cheated on him and they've now broken up but staring at each other with both hate and love. She's saying goodbye to him.. (She's also taller than him). Anyway, the cover reminds me of 1960's Folk legend Fred Neil's Bleecker & MacDougal. 'Im A Realist' has an ear catching introduction. The use of reverb is a welcomed entry, just hearing the more melodic sounds as the band descend into a vigorous love song with well produced guitar which work spectacularly well with the bass giving a great sound effect on the ear.
'Womens Needs' has a recognisable bass riff which is very simple but sets up the song well. Then the guitar work enters and sounds miraculously like the riff on Moving Pictures except well mixed and much quieter. The vocal harmonies enter as the song progresses with clapping and a steady drum beat allowing Gary Jarman to give his vocal with ease. A striking guitar solo breaks through in the background but is obscured by the high quality bass. The song ends in traditional style with distorted riffs and energetic drumming.
The faster and brighter 'My Life Flashed Before My Eyes', has a great guitar sound which is completely different to the other guitar effects which have previously been used. It's a more refined song and allows the guitar to take control and lead the song. This guitar takes the lead here and it just has an extended pattern over a small riff which is what The Cribs do so well. They know how to play their music and this song just proves their ability to compose great sounding instrumentals. The structure is lacking but overall, this song is one of the best and one of my favourites.
Finally the song with Lee Ranaldo from Sonic Youth. With a keen instrumental and a American-esque teen angst style, Lee Ranaldo delivers perfectly a track filled with hate and anger at society and commercialism. It's enjoyable but the song doesn't exactly stick part from the chorus. 'Shoot The Poets' has a ballad feel to it. it's a little forced because of that ballad idea of a closing track. The 'hangover' so to speak. So this album has always been recognised as the bands strongest. It has a very catchy tune with Mens Needs and the energetic Women's Needs caps the duo perfectly. We hear some great guitar sounds throughout with catchy drumming and decent vocal delivery. Everything is done to the bands expectations but it's at a mediocre rate.