Album Review: The Cribs – For All My Sisters

By on Friday, 24th April 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

The Cribs For All My Sisters album cover“If you look at me from a different angle, do you see something that you just can’t handle?” calls The Cribs frontman Gary Jarman early on during the band’s sixth studio LP ‘For All My Sisters’. There’s something apt, if a little ironic about that: The Cribs come from a turbulent time, one where they’re outspoken about their peers, and regularly shifting their sound (not to mention producers) from album to album. On this sixth outing they’re not asking for a ‘reset’, to be considered again by anyone who’s passed by their 13-year stint without realising. Instead they’re simply looking for another chance to grab your attention; it’s a reboot, if you will.

2012’s compilation ‘Payola’ has helped draw a line under their early works, and on the Ric Ocasek (of the Cars’ fame)-produced follow up, they live up to this heritage as indie disco darlings. Mid-tempo, powerhouse rock greets you on opener ‘Friendly Free’, with scrawny riffs bleeding out around the howled vocals. The Cribs have rarely been so accessible, and the catchy pop jaunt of ‘Different Angle’ does a lot to help that perception. There’s teasing riffs and a jerky freneticism, all captured with the sense of abandon and Yorkshire swagger that made ‘Men’s Needs’ stand out 8 years ago.

It’s neither the first nor last of their classic sounding, punk-rock collection; ‘Burning for No One’ risks staying with you all day for another yelping chorus of “rose-tinted romance”, even if the comparison with a burning candle is not quite as raw or vivid as the antics they might have covered in the past. The heavier sound of ‘An Ivory Hand’ is a punkier addition meanwhile, woven with poisoning guitars and bolshy drums, all of which remain enthralling during the nostalgic atmosphere they channel.

Much has been made of ‘Simple Story’, Ryan Jarman’s ballad on the album, so I’ll say little more about the lyrics and let you decide for yourself if he’s considering life as man’s best friend or an entirely different animal. “Let me off the leash and watch me running the grass…” is hardly a lyric that’s going to help his case, but after 3 minutes, his introspective pitying and subtle synths give way to a highlight of the album in ‘City Storms’. It’s forthright and refreshing, a slice of dizzying, hook-laden guitars that carry a Peace-like quality. ‘Summer of Chances’ has equally appealing bursts of skittish rock, as they rattle off gutsy lyrics throughout, not least with the snarky remarks of ‘Diamond Girls’:- “sometimes I wonder if I got you wrong, you don’t have to agree, you’re not as straight as you wanted to be…..how did you get so free?”.

For an album that marks the first of two from the band in 2015, The Cribs have returned with a convincing sound. This is the brothers at their most ingenious, returning to feel-good guitar music, with ‘Pink Snow’ adding a decisive final blow as the album’s closer. At 7 minutes long, it veers from a grungy sombreness at first, to a climax of euphoric, earthquake inducing riffs and howls. Regardless, it points to The Cribs rekindling their unique tenacity that no other band has. With this album of flat out, rough cut riffs from the Yorkshire stalwarts, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that their sensibility for writing bold punk rock is nowhere near close to drying up. In fact, it just got a whole lot stronger.

8/10

‘For All My Sisters’, the sixth album from Yorkshire band The Cribs, is out now through Sony Red / Sonic Blew. Listen to the audio of ‘Different Angle’ below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gij6PrxtB2o[/youtube]

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