By The Cribs
Since the whole world seems to have gone The Cribs mad in the last few weeks, it seemed the only thing for it was to get into the spirit of things by listening to my pre-ordered 'Ignore the Ignorant' download on itunes as the clock struck midnight. I can't help but think if they'd just played Leeds/Reading no one would care so much, but it's the rebellious, DIY The Cribs way: Go gig the local HMVs as a bit of a two fingers to the festivals, and like they say no news is bad news. Especially with a release date just around the corner.
I, like just about everyone else, was dying to hear how old man Marr would fit in with the band's raucous sounds. I took great pleasure from their photo in the Leeds Guide this week, in which Marr really does look like the dad at the disco: a grown and aged man in a tight t-shirt and drainpipes. Sadly, in a way the picture ended up being quite prophetic.
What attracted me to The Cribs in the first place was the raw cutting edge, devil-may-care sound. They seemed to be picking up the baton that the Arctic Monkeys and Kaisers had dropped. When the other British indiers were going soft The Cribs seemed to inject some boisterous adrenaline back into the scene. So, like all releases of bands we love, we pray they won't have gone soft...
But they've just been joined by a bloke old enough to be their dad, so you didn't seriously hope they wouldn't, did you? Of course they have. Listening to 'Ignore the Ignorant' side by side with 'The New Fellas' makes my whole body suddenly go limp. 'Ignore the Ignorant' sounds like the classic The Cribs sound, covered in PVA glue and then liberally coated with feathers. It doesn't sound bad at all, it just sounds, well, sensible. They've lost their edge and charm and frankly for me that doesn't leave much to stand them above everyone else. I had the pleasure of catching them live at HMV in Leeds last week and can testify that they're still going to be a great band to see live, but if you loved the other Cribs' albums as much as I did you might want to save yourself the heartache and pretend this one doesn't exist. I feel like a complete traitor as I write these words but I can't help but feel Marr is like a giant playing with ants: he just wants to join the party, but his big shoes were always going to crush everything that made the party great in the first place.
On the other hand, if you like your indie watered down, soft and predictable (probably a Smiths fan) this might be just your cup of tea. I've given this quite a high score considering the tone of my review, which I'll explain so as not to confuse. It's got a good score because it *is* quite a good album. It's just not as good as it should be, not worthy of the hype, and probably all the fault of the dad at the disco.