Single/EP round up

By on Sunday, 12th July 2009 at 3:08 am
 

After The Libertines decided to call it a day in 2004 there was a moment of panic at the offices of the NME. The righteous ‘kings of indie’ had disbanded and suddenly the NME found themselves exposed, instead of looking for deserved new leaders of the independent scene they jumped on Sheffield quartet Arctic Monkeys – bland, northern, toosleektobeladrock, betting you look good on the dancefloor poster boys. I’m sure deep down they all knew the more deserved new young band fit for the title were Wakefield power-trio The Cribs.

After the release of their average debut (which showed more promise in one track than the Akward Monkeys showed in their entire album) they followed it up with a better record the next year. The bosses at the NME could by now surely sense they had made a mistake. The salt in the wounds came in 2007. Arctic Monkeys dropped their follow up album, even more bland and tired (and overrated??) than their first whilst the Yorkshiremen released ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever.’ The cold war of indie had been fought and won, but rather than admit defeat the NME plastered a 9 on ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ and covering up the whole scenario.

Now the battle’s reemerged, with ‘indie heroes’ Arctic Monkeys releasing their much hyped third effort with the backing of shiny Warner Bros. The Cribs have stuck to basics and release their forth album with indie label Witcha. Both bands recently gave fans a snippet of their new singles – the verdict is in.

Crying Lightning (as is already reviewed a little down the page) isn’t unlistenable. Monkeys fans won’t be disappointed but fans of decent music will be. It’s not a brave new step into the unknown and doesn’t sound at all like Black Sabbath (Mr. Turner eats his words). The guitars are just as distorted, the drums still banging and the bass almost stale from repetition. Even Turner’s brilliant lyricism can’t refresh this tired, beat down instrumentalism – in terms of extremes it’s like reciting Shakespeare over an S Club Juniors track. Hopefully the album will be better and I pray the only reason this track is so average is due to it being a ‘single-track.’

We Were Aborted was perhaps just as eagerly anticipated due to the arrival of Johnny Marr. Perhaps it’s just a mid-life crisis but when it sounds this good nobodies complaining. THIS is what progression sounds like, the music seems to have taken a new direction and the guitar work is the best on this track than on any of The Cribs back catalogue. That doesn’t mean all is well, the biggest loss due to the added guitarist is Gary Jarman’s bass, hopefully his input isn’t as minimised on the entire album as it is here.

There’s something odd about Jamie T, perhaps it’s that he went to a flash private school yet insists on wailing in cockney, but we’d be biased and classist if we were to fault him for that. After all he has dropped an incredible album and taken his energetic live show around the countries manyatime. New EP ‘Sticks ‘N’ Stones’ is quite the album fans have been hoping for but ticks all the right boxes as far as quality goes. The opening is an energetic recollection of travels on the underground and the desperate scream of ‘lightweight prickk’ is I’m sure a source of musical orgasm to many who’ve heard it. It’s rather remarkable that a track so vibrant is followed by ‘St. Christopher,’ a calm follow up which is a mark of musical versitality. ‘On The Green’ is perhaps the weakest track but still maintains an upbeat summer feel which when combined with gentle guitar strumming provides a gentle track. Closing track ‘Dance of the Young Proffessionals’ see’s Jamie dip his toe in the electro pool and dip he does, he seems so at ease it’s as though he jumped in the deep and and burst his floats. It’s another energetic dance-a-long which ventures into somewhat unexplored territory and we can only hope his album is as good as this breathtaking extended play.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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