The Cribs | Ignore the Ignorant (101 Distribution)

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cd_cribs.gifRyan Jarman really stretches his voice on this offering. It's still recognizable, but he's singing more, reaching new ranges, holding notes longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subsequent albums are always a risk. If you loved a band's first album, for instance, their second one has better than a 50 percent chance of disappointing you. Bands are always trying to do something "new" and "fresh": while these are good ideas in principle, too often a band will lose sight of what their fans liked about them.

All this is to say, yay, Cribs! Following their breakout The New Fellas, they returned with Mens Needs, Womens Needs. I played—and continue to play—the follow-up more than the original. It shows a growth without being a departure. It's clever and catchy but not too cute; a good release in my book.

Still, I approached this new CD with trepidation. The guys had taken some time between releases; they were trying to do something new here. Thankfully, it's fresh and it's still a Cribs album. Disc opener "We Were Aborted," is fast-paced and rocking; the guitars are front and center on the bridge, hard-driving and addictive.

Ryan Jarman really stretches his voice on this offering. It's still recognizable, but he's singing more, reaching new ranges, holding notes longer. "Cheat on Me" explores new territory for the brothers three: more smooth and melodic than their usual M.O....that is, until Ryan's near yowl: "Cheat on me." "City of Bugs" deviates from standard Cribs; rather, it hearkens back to that ‘80s Brit-pop sound, recalling American post-wavers Wire Train or Aussies The Church. It's a nice song, and a nice look back.

The racing "Emasculate Me" is a welcome change of pace, coming on the heels of a slower number. On this, the tempo is upbeat, the vocals reaching near-shouts on the refrain. The rollicking title track gives way to the mellow, meandering "Save Your Secrets," a gentle change of pace for the trio.

Pointed guitar playing kicks off "Nothing," my favorite song on the disc. This one's a rocker, and a good one at that. Alongside the guitar, Ryan's vocals alternately keep pace or rise above with a roar. "Victim of Mass Production" is a cross between rock and pop; album closer "Stick to Yr Guns" takes things home with a whisper.

Many of the songs are "typical" Cribs songs: "We Share the Same Skies," "Hari Kari," the mellower "Last Year's Snow." Nothing wrong with that. But the stretches, the new territory, are welcome reminders that The Cribs are an evolving and talented band. With Ignore the Ignorant, the brothers Jarman have maintained their status as one of Britain's best. B+ | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: The Subways, The Rakes, The Futureheads

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