Not Bullshit: The Cribs, In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull quasi-review

Okay…It may have come out  a couple of weeks ago now, but I wanted to comment on the (now only relatively) new release by The Cribs: In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull.

I’m a big fan of the band of brothers, I’ve seen them live, got shirts, discussed them at length with my (cooler than me) Dad. However, this posed a problem with this album didn’t quite live up to the inevitably large expectations I had placed upon them.  Here, they return to the scratchier, fuzzier sounds of their youth, but with a notable absence of the catchiness present in their previous 2 (excellent, I should say) efforts.  There are no riffs like Men’s Needs, and no choruses like We Were Aborted….

The whole album indeed seems quite old fashioned, from the 90s guitars (which are quite cool now, with Yuck and the like), to the startlingly unexpected ‘oohs’ in Anna, and an old trick of using a chorus for a solo in Chi-town.  This must be a result of Ryan Jarman’s recent taste in burying himself in old cassettes. And Retarded Fish (who, checking out, are pretty good).

I may be dressing this up wrong though, In The Belly of the Brazen Bull is still very good.  There are great songs on it, notably Pure O, Jaded Youth and the single Chi-Town.  Also, it hangs together exceptionally well…it works as a coherent progression of ideas, and is paced to merit listening to it in a whole sitting.  It even finds time for not one, but two distortion filled opuses! Back To The Bolthole, however, is the superior, having a dreamlike quality to it.

Overall, the band has matured musically, moving beyond the indie anthems of their past, and forging interesting and exciting guitar music, filled with witticisms and dirty guitars. But I like anthems! A couple more wouldn’t go amiss…

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