The Cribs – Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever
2007 will forever be known as the year that The Cribs produced the album they had always threatened to make. ‘The Cribs’ and ‘The New Fellas’ are lo-fi classics – the basis of the sound that they have produced on ‘MNWNW’, as the band have adapted the anthemic qualities of their previous two albums, and polished it up into an album that sounds great.
Of course, this was to be expected when the band brought Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos in as their producer, as he knows all about producing commercial gems…songs that can appeal to the masses…and this is what The Cribs do. So many tracks on ‘MNWNW’ have sing-along choruses and memorable guitar riffs that should firmly place The Cribs into the mainstream audience…
However, as the music industry goes, good music gets ignored, and although the band are now attracting a larger crowd, they are still not selling the amount of albums that they should be selling!!!
On the other hand, it is perhaps not crazy to suggest that the band are probably pleased about this, as they seem to be fuelled on anger towards the music industry and the ‘hipster scene’, as evidenced on their previous albums. Whilst the band do still take shots at the music industry (‘Our Bovine Public’), they have also matured, not only in their sound, but in their lyrics as well! The Cribs seem to have made the conscious decision to move away from their past, and are now adopting a much more mature and well-rounded approach to writing music!
Moving back on to more general issues…the album is an engaging listen, as it shifts from vicious slices of punk rock, ‘Men’s Needs’ and ‘Major’s Titling Victory’, to the almost lullaby-esque ‘Shoot The Poets’, to the more experimental, ‘Be Safe’, which is the most surprising track on the album, as it features Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo ranting/reciting poetry over the top of The Cribs’ wall-of-noise, with interjecting choruses from the Jarman brothers. This song could be a glimpse of the future in terms of The Cribs, and if it is, then it should be interesting to see what they sound like, as although it is the most different track on the album, it is also one of the best!!!
Other highlights include the slow-groove of ‘Women’s Needs’, the catchy rock of ‘My Life Flashed Before My Eyes’, and the all-out rock of ‘Ancient History’, with the great chorus of “I drag up ancient history, hope that they’ll forgive me”…Heck, if you keep producing great music like this Jarmans, then i would forgive you anything!!!
The key impact of this album, is that the sound is so crisp…the guitars are strengthened by layers and keyboards; the vocals, although still raw and aggressive, sound much more powerful; every song on the album is an immense listen; and the album as a whole just seems so perfectly finished and polished!!!
So, if this is the future of The Cribs, then i like it very much, and i can’t wait to hear what they are going to come up with next!!!
We hit the top three tomorrow…can you guess who they are and what order they will be in…argh…the suspense!!!