It’s hard to believe that The Cribs are coming up to celebrating 13 years of being a band and yet, the three-piece continue to push the barriers sonically. Their upcoming sixth record, For All My Sisters, features Ric Ocasek (the chap that produced Weezer’s Blue Album) at the helm. In anticipation of their long-awaited return, the band announced a series of intimate gigs to get fans better acquainted with the new material, as well as to dust off some old favourites.
Kicking things off directly with ‘An Ivory Hand’, you can really hear the influence that Ocasek had on the band in terms of guitar tone and melodies. Featuring power chord chugs sounding as if they were directly lifted from Rivers Cuomo’s personal archive, huge pockets of the audience have already memorised every lyric and scream them back with their arms wrapped around each other. The rest however, are just content to exert their overbearing testosterone levels and throw full pints around the room.
Early on in the night, Ryan Jarman is quick to point out “these are songs you don’t know yet but you’re going to love them by the time we come back in six months so you might as well dance now!” before demanding a mosh pit for new cut ‘Finally Free’. When it comes to the wealth of stacked material in the band’s extensive back catalogue however, it feels rushed together.
On one hand, there’s ‘Our Bovine Public’ which is delivered with as much outrage, if not more, as the record and creates an explosive atmosphere. It’s on ‘Another Number’, however, where the band stumble – a song which the crowd have been demanding since the support act finished, singing the main guitar melody as if it was a football chant. In this instance, it feels considerably slower than the original.
That being said, the band’s energy is unmatched, showing the bravado of a true rock and roll band. Ryan Jarman’s microphone stand is perhaps the biggest victim as it is slammed, thrown to the ground and carried high above enthusiastic singing fans.
Ending on an underwhelming note, ‘Pink Snow’ leaves the crowd hot in anticipation of an encore of sorts (usually ‘City Of Bugs’). As the lights come on and the bar staff start mopping up the dregs of spilt beer, it seems as if that’s it. Oh well, until next time.
It’s clear from tonight that The Cribs are one of the last remaining punk acts, spitting at the face of the mainstream and going directly against it. Debuting a total of seven cuts from their new record tonight, it’s obvious the band aren’t interested in becoming a greatest hits act and want to force feed newer material.