Classic Album: The Cribs – The Cribs Review

The Cribs


For most people who see The Cribs as just another indie band will possibly think that this album is the worst that The Cribs have ever done because it is, under-produced, patchy and simply not as good as the four that proceeded them. Well this review provides an argument against all of that, and argues the case that it is the best record that The Cribs ever put out, and probably ever will put out.

The album was released back in 2004, so it got lumped with some very moderate and mediocre albums that were coming out at the time, however it was strongly linked to The Strokes first release ‘This is it’, which the guys never had a bad word to say about. Yet the album had something that set it away from most of the records that were coming out then, it was raw. Yes there were bands bring out debut albums that were also Raw, BUT! this was completely raw, fresh out the box with plastic wrapped round it, as it was The Cribs at their earliest, where they were at their lo-fi best.

At the core of the album, it is just another pop record with most of the songs having catchy chorus’ and tasteful one liners with ‘You were always the one’ and ‘The Lights Went Out’ demonstrating this element. However with a lick of Wakefield accents growing all over it and earthy sound, the album sounded real and made it increasingly down to earth and human, making anyone believe they could pick up a guitar and write a song.

So you had your bouncy pop songs around the album, but you also had the songs that set Hardcore Cribs fans against normal Cribs fans, with songs like ‘The Watch Trick’, ‘Direction’ and ‘Third Outing’. These were the songs that set them apart from any ‘indie’ band that were coming out at the time, because no one  was trying that, because they were too busy trying to be the new Oasis or Blur, which is not a bad thing, but it got boring.

You also had that song that would never be forgotten even if you were flashed by one of those sticks from Men in Black, just because it’s too catchy. ‘Another Number’ takes a simple riff that you wouldn’t even think of using for a song, and turns it into an anthem that will be shouted wherever the guys go. Memorable albums always have a song like this, a song that most people will know, and if you don’t, you will end up enjoying it.

It may not be the most glamorous album The Cribs have ever made, but it is definitely the best one, as it is no other band could really pull it of, and The Cribs managed to do it and put themselves in peoples hearts for a long time.

The Cribs – ‘For All My Sisters’ Review



After a three-year long wait The Cribs have finally shown their hand with their sixth album ‘For All My Sisters’, and after five sterling albums surely they’re not capable of creating another one that deserves all of our attention.

Well they have, the Wakefield trio have once again created an album that will be a healthy addition to their catalogue, as it showcases everything that makes the band so special and different to any other outfit.

The album achieves the right balance of punk, lo-fi attitude with caring and delicate approach to songwriting. The band have always had a punky edge, however they always combine with writing about issues that are personal to them, and this album is no different. Their lyrics have always connected with the lost and the lonely and this record will do just that, as Ryan and Gary have honed their songwriting craft to envious heights. Songs like ‘Diamond Girl’ and ‘Burning For No one’ are more than enough to fill this feeling,however you have a whole bunch to choose from on the record.

The lyrics wouldn’t survive alone, as they yearn for a ridiculously catchy riff, and that’s where one of the best guitarists of the modern era comes in. Ryan Jarman’s riffs seem to go hand in glove with lyrics, as they fill all the spots that the vocals can’t fill. It seems impossible to not have a catchy song when Ryan is on the track, purely because he’s perfected the technical skill of writing hook laden riffs that appeal to everyone. These riffs are closely followed by Gary’s equally catchy “ooooos” which could easily have an album on their own, and still attract an audience.

‘Summer of Chances’, ‘Diamond Girl’ and ‘Different Angle’ all boast outrageously memorably chorus’, which leads me to believe that the band could easily hold a class for bands who are struggling to write them. The chorus’ aren’t just words thrown together that sound good, the guys take good care of their chorus’ which is on show in every song.

The album has no filler songs, as it is meat (or shall I say quorn) all the way through. This makes for one of the best albums the band has ever produced due to its unrelenting consistency throughout, and manageability to constantly astound the listener.

Now I say this makes for one of the best albums, not the best album because for me you will never beat early Cribs records. However in this ever changing list of mine,based on which one I have been listening to or pining for, I can easily see ‘For All My Sisters’ being second to their unbeatable debut album ‘The Cribs’ a number of times.

Yes, this could easily be seen as a biased review because of me being a huge fan that struggles to find anything wrong in anything they do. However, having this knowledge and their back-catalogue engrained into my memory, it gives me the ability to compare it to everything they have ever done and be critical about it. But I can honestly write that the album is the best so far this year, and will definitely be considered as the best at the end of the year.

Words by Alex Wise @al4563

The Cribs Live @ KASBAH Coventry



So after the long wait after the postponing of the show that was supposed to take place in June, I finally got to see The Cribs for a second time this year. It was an aggravating wait which consisted of torturing myself by continuously listening to them, and watching live videos of them on youtbue, but thankfully the wait was finally over and I felt like a kid on Christmas day who was surrounded by re-spawning presents. After the long drive up and a lot of waiting around in the car the clock finally hit 6.45 and entered a venue that I’ve finally had the joy of visiting, The Kasbah.

After the show was moved, the line-up also had a slight change, as B-town bandits JAWS were meant to play the second support slot, but due to it being moved it was changed, and I had enjoyment of watching Wide Eyed, another promising up and coming Birmingham band. I was pleasantly surprised as I’ve never seen them live before, as their Horror-esque sound and feel had the crowd locked on to them. My attention was drawn the rhythm guitarist as he continued to play with his many pedals creating some wondrous noises which sounded like they had been taken from outer space. The frontman’s fingers were working overtime as I struggled to keep track of what they were doing, and the drummer played an integral part to every song as he effortlessly played some complex beats. After that performance I can safely say Wide Eyed earned a few more fans, regardless to the fact he only told the crowd once what the band was called.

The usual suspects of Drenge took the next support slot, as they played supported the Cribs previously at the 100 club earlier this year. The two piece from Wakefield manage to create a raw powerful sound which you wouldn’t expect to hear from a two piece, but the catchy yet heavy riffs from lead guitarist (ENTER NAME) gives the songs a real burst of life. Well known ‘Bloosport’ created the first real mosh pit of the night with a group of about 20 people began to push each other aggressively without care.‘Face like a Skull’ and ‘I want to break you in half’ continued this flow of energy as people persevered and continued to create a real atmosphere, unfortunately I wasn’t able to get in on the act as I was tied to the front barrier with my other half.

Finally after the two hour long wait, the room was full, sweat as it was dripping off the walls and everyone made their way to the floor as the one of the best live acts around today walked out humbly as always, forcing the crowed to roar like an injured lion.


Crowd favourites ‘Our bovine public’, ‘I’m a realist’ and ‘Another number’ of course made an appearance as it obviously would’ve been rude not to play them, as always these songs distributed out invisible cans of energy and angst, which was showcased by the crowd as a tidal wave of surfers continued to fly over which was inevitably encouraged by Ryan.

We knew that they were going to play some deep cuts and they did as they played ‘I’m learning how to fight’ and ‘Things you should be knowing’ which both feature on their first and best album. The fellas played the songs as if it was their first time, the energy was glowing off the stage and Ryans guitar playing, which never fails to amaze me.

Ryan invited everyone to try and attempt to get on the stage as gestured it with his hands, without doubt people but no one prevailed unfortunately, but there were some pretty impressive falls over the rails though.

The+Cribs+In+Concert+nRjrrGQNs0RlTheir latest album Belly of The Brazen Bull still played a huge part on the setlist as ‘Jaded Youth’, ‘Anna’, ‘Glitters like Gold’, ‘Back to the Bolthole’, ‘Come on and be no-one’ and ‘Chi Town’ all made the cut. But even though I’ve listened to that album over and over again, the songs are just as mouth-watering as when I first heard them, grungy, punky and down right dirty.

My personal highlight of the gig, which comes just above Ryan chucking his guitar, was ‘You were always the one’, because I know I will never jump and shout like that ever again, and It’s my girlfriends favourite cribs track.

As I was driving I wasn’t able to drink, if anything I believed that this worked in my favour as every last piece of the gig is saved in my brain which I can revisit any time I like. Thankyou Gary, Ross and Ryan for creating the Cribs and being the band you are.


The Cribs – Tuesday 6th November 2012 – HMV Institure Birmingham

Before I start the post I would just like to say sorry for terrible lighting on the camera, my girlfriend just took her rubbish one as she didn’t want the other one to be battered, but still thankyou to her because with out her, I wouldn’t have these photos. If you’ve got any photos from the gig, please j get in touch I’d like to see em’,

I had the joy of seeing The Cribs this Tuesday, and I’ll be honest I’ve never seen them before (because before this I was a chav), but I’m a really big fan of theirs not only for their music but their whole indie ethos, they seemed to have stayed grounded regardless of the success, also they do go under the name of Witchita Recordings in the UK, in the US they’re under Warner I think, not entirely sure.

However they had a big gap between their last album and this one which is out now ‘In the belly of the brazen bull’ I did a review of the album and remember expressing how great it was, the gap was prior to the departure of Johnny Marr, undoubtedly one of the most influential guitarists ever. Also it was said that The Cribs were trying to do something a bit different and had to get used to being a three piece again, and I think they did that and paraded it on this very good album.

The Gig

Right the gig, instead of rattling on I should talk about this breath taking, ear piercing and energetic rush of a gig. To put it in one word it was breathtaking, quite literally at the end I couldn’t breathe because of all the shouting, pushing and kicking that I had to do to remain alive (it weren’t that bad). I think the performance proved that they are probably one of the best if not the best bands around now, purely for the arsenal of songs they have, the energy they bring to the stage and Ryan Jarman’s immaculate style.

The gig started off fast, and it really didn’t slow down, with the likes of ‘Come on and be a no one’ and ‘Our bovine public’ starting us off. With the guitars sounding distorted and their microphones giving off  this slight buzz every time they started singing just added to the occasion, and how much they really didn’t care about the sound that much, because I know some bands perhaps would of stopped and tried to sort it out. You had the obvious crowd pleasers with ‘Hey Scenesters’ and ‘Men’s Needs’, but the songs that took the night for me was ‘Be Safe’, I love the track on the album but it was so much better live, as you had the AV backing track featuring Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, and these blaring guitars and the back of it.

They also gave us the choice of ‘We were aborted’, ‘Don’t you wanna be relevant’ and ‘Leather Jacket Love Song’, personally I wanted ‘DYWBR’ but I got ‘We were aborted’. But I would of preferred ‘Direction’,  because that is probably one of the  best songs to go mad to, I was shouting for it almost every chance I could, but it didn’t come.

The main highlight for me in the gig was when Ryan Jarman’s guitar was playing up, and Ryan asked Gary to start singing a song for the crowd while they fixed it, and then he started singing ‘Under Pressure’ by Queen, and as soon as Ryan’s Guitar was fixed they proceeded an played the whole song, which I enjoyed.

The final point I wanna bring up about the gig was the attitude of all of them, you could see they were brothers and they still loved what they were doing and they still looked like they were in they early 20’s just by the way they were acting, it showed that they just love doing what they do.

Ryan Jarman

Just one last thing before I wrap this up, Ryan Jarman is one of my favourite guitarists, performers and musician after that night just because of how he acted, the way he dressed and his guitar is fucking cool, oh and his haircut is off the radar it’s that good.

The Cribs – In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull


Like most of my posts on here about albums, it’s extremely overdue seen as it came out on 7th May and I still haven’t mentioned anything about it. When I first heard ‘chi-town’ and ‘come on and be a no one’, I think the feeling was mutual across all Cribs fans, that the songs were really good. I think the songs sent a message out saying ‘yeah, these songs are good, so our album is going to be tantalizingly good’, and we were all there waiting to be tantalized. When the album came out I had shit loads of work going on with Uni so I didn’t find the time to listen to it, but I heard off a couple of people that it was a good album even with the absence of Johnny Marr. Finally I got round to listening to it, and finally I was excited by music again.

The Album

Before this album I felt there was a period of no good British guitar music, proper guitar music, with distortion, a bit of screaming, passion within the songs,  there was nothing really that came out and really grabbed my attention. You had Noel’s album which I loved, but it didn’t really have a guitar feel to it, the Arctic Monkeys were quite close but think it lacked that edge, along with Kasabian. Graham Coxon’s was quite good, that’s quite close but it doesn’t match up to this album.

The album starts with a noise, a daunting yet brilliant noise. When I put the CD in my car (where I first listened to it) I just heard three loud symbols then that noise and I thought ‘this needs to be turned up a bit more’, and that feeling consistently went through the whole album, which a lot of albums fail to do because they have that odd song that just doesn’t cut it and there honestly isn’t  one on here.

Sometimes you can’t really hear what Ryan or Gary’s singing sometimes, but you forgive them for that because of that sound under their voices. Sometimes I found myself not trying to listen to them singing but just listening to the guitar. The album has a mix of catchy riffs, catchy chorus’ and perfect solos(which we expected), as well as that you have this lovely little acoustic song on there called ‘I should’ve helped’, and it fits in the album perfectly because that has a bit of a rough and raw sound to it as well. It’s probably one of my favorite acoustic songs now, it’s that beautiful. There’s a part in the album as well where from tack 11 to 15,  the songs run on from each other, which worked nicely with the album again it just seemed to fit in perfectly.

Overall 9.5

This is one of my favorite albums now, it’s one that I will always mention to people, and one I will be telling my children about because it is that good. Is it there best album so far? I’m gonna go out on a limn and say I think it is, because all the songs are perfect from start to finish, I can’t pick a fault. Also I think I’m slightly biased towards that guitar sound, because it was distorted and it didn’t feel like it was pieced together, just sounded like it happened and it was beautiful.  Even if you’ve just heard one song of The Cribs and you liked it, BUY THIS ALBUM, YOU WON’T REGRET IT.

This is the reason why it hasn’t got a ten, I don’t think it will stand the test of time, it hasn’t broken any records or anything yet, hopefully it does and I can eat my words.