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Men‘s Needs, Women‘s Needs, Whatever
The third album by Wakefield trio The Cribs promises to elevate the band to music's high table.
Francis Jones, 23 May 2007
With their first two albums, Wakefield trio The Cribs seemed wilfully determined to remain a lo-fi, peripheral concern. Recording was hurried, the sound was ragged and the songs infused with jaundiced spleen. Third time out, on Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever, they’ve enrolled Franz Ferdinand frontman, Alex Kapranos, as producer. The result, spleen with sheen.
The crispness of the production has furnished the record with a startling immediacy. Raging against the mundane, ‘Our Bovine Public’, exemplifies this freshly instigated, passion-with-polish approach. Propelled by needling guitar and unapologetic dance floor rhythms, it carries an air of utter conviction. A band with a definite sense of their own identity, The Cribs, stand joyfully at odds with the legions of second-rate, indie-rock soundalikes trundling up the conveyor belt, the bands who “wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t generic”.
There is a bitter realism to this record, albeit one softened by an innate romanticism. It’s there in ‘Moving Pictures’, a lovely amalgam of pitter-patter drumming and stinging guitar lines, and the acoustic kiss-off of ‘Shoot The Poets’, Ryan Jarman’s vocal lush and defiant. And, whatever the Jarman brothers are railing against, you want to get behind them. Songs such as ‘Major’s Titling Victory’ and ‘Be Safe’, featuring a poetry reciting Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, prove these rebels have got cause aplenty. Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever, is an album that promises to elevate The Cribs to music’s high table. Grab yourself a seat.