Friday, November 20, 2020

‘No-Guilt Punk’ and Pure Unadulterated Artistic Energy - The Cribs 'Night Network' Album Review

‘The Cribs’ may not be a name you’ve heard for a while, or it may ring vaguely reminiscent, but their unique renowned and lasting impression all but speaks for itself.

For Fans of: The Strokes, Pretty Vicious, The Pigeon Detectives

Whether you’ve heard ‘Men’s Needs’ booming at a party or seen the band as a support slot for the likes of The Foo Fighters or Franz Ferdinand, you’re sure to be familiar with their euphoria inducing, iconic guitar riffs.

Despite this being their first new release for a couple of years, the boys were not soon forgotten. The news of a new addition to their work reignited the flame of excitement in fans, old and new alike. Despite no longer having rock n’ roll sensation Johnny Marr under their wing, Night Network, recorded at Foo Fighters’ Studio 606, demonstrates the Jarman boys unmatched ability to throw out hit tune after hit tune.

In true Cribs fashion, their lead single from the album, ‘Running Into You’, is everything you’d expect - and more. The lo-fi track is over-flowing with ripping vocals, powerfully honest lyrics, adrenaline fuelled drums and unique sound resonate with the band’s early noughties tracks in true retro fashion. This song is the epitome of distinctive Cribs’ sound and is undeniably one of the best singles to come out of insanity that has been 2020.

We’re the still same kids, screaming in suburbia’ is the poignant take home lyric from the second track on the album, nodding to fans that they’re still the same down-to earth band that they know and love – fame won’t change them.

‘Never Thought I’d Feel Again’ is a track accompanied by emotive visuals that provoke nostalgia with ‘no-guilt punk’ and pure unadulterated artistic energy. The band found inspiration in a truly unexpected place -  Kylie’s ‘The Loco-motion’, and a positively uplifting song is certainly what they achieved. This song is perfectly simple but packs a catchy punch.

For the next track, The Cribs collaborated once again with Sonic Youth legend, Lee Ranaldo, for ‘I Don’t Know Who I Am’ after the acclaim received following the release of 2007’s ‘Be Safe’, for which Ranaldo contributed spoken word verses.

‘Under The Bus Station Clock’ opens with the spotlights on the drums, followed by enthusiastic screams, energetic and upbeat vocals, is almost an amalgamation of The Kooks meets The Pigeon Detectives.

The melancholy infused vocals pair spectacularly with Ranaldo’s layered guitar to make up the abstract ‘noise-jam’ track inspired by the boys’ views on masculinity and gender roles - which was influenced by differing paternal guidance’s: Ranaldo truly splashed his iconic Sonic Youth style all over this track.

‘I've been watching you my whole life in every, Look I don't recognize, Every feature in my face with no relation, From my mother's side, Shows where we came from’.

The closing track ends on a less than optimistic note. ‘In The Neon Night’ tells a tale of bleak pessimism through punchy vocals and Smiths-reminiscent poetic aphorisms atop a surprisingly upbeat back-track. “Now I’ve got to the point when I don’t want to wake each morning” and “How am I supposed to face the future” offers a stark contrast to the otherwise uplifting, energetic and sonically exciting eighth album from The Cribs.



“Night Network” Track Listing;

1. Goodbye
2. Running Into You
3. Screaming In Suburbia
4. Never Thought I’d Feel Again
5. Deep Infatuation
6. I Don’t Know Who I Am (feat. Lee Ranaldo)
7. She’s My Style
8. Under The Bus Station Clock
9. The Weather Speaks Your Name
10. Siren Sing-Along
11. Earl & Duke
12. In The Neon Night


The band have announced a string of UK tour dates for next year (pandemic allowing):

JUNE 2021
11 - London, Roundhouse
14 - Birmingham, O2 Institute
15 - Newcastle, Boiler Shop
17 - Glasgow, SWG3 Galvanizers
18 - Manchester, Academy
20 - Halifax, The Piece Hall


A new album from The Cribs is exactly what the world needed after the shambles of a year we have all had.



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