Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Cribs - "The Cribs" (LP review)

"The Cribs" is the eponymous debut LP from the West Yorkshire-based band, The Cribs. Although this LP was released in 2004, I did not discover them until 2007 on the YouTube Channel for their label "Wichita Recordings". This will be the first of many Wichita Recordings LPs featured on "F-Measure".

Quite simply, The Cribs are currently my favorite band and all of my friends have had to suffer my extolment of the band. They represent the pinnacle (?) of lo-fi -- listening to their music puts you right there, in the garage with them -- complete with constant feedback squeals and other deliciously unpolished reminders. They are not musical virtuosos, but they are songwriters almost without peer. It almost seems like damning with faint praise to say so, but they write consummate power pop songs -- three minutes of perfection with strong hooks, snarky lyrics, and a liberal dose of "whoah!" and "oh yeah!" distributed through each song.

I simply cannot understand why 1) more people don't know about this band and 2) they are not in heavy rotation on the radio. Perhaps they have suffered from comparison to "The Libertines". While I have nothing against The Libertines, such a comparison seems superficial and for my money the song writing of The Cribs is far better. If I was forced to compare, I would actually say if Weezer is quintessentially American, then The Cribs are their UK counterpart. I would go further and say The Cribs should be spoken of in the same breath as The Ramones. Yes, I think they're that good.

Standout tracks: Nearly of them, but we'll settle on: You were always the one, What about me, Baby don't sweat, Direction, Learning how to fightFull LP.

Skip 'em tracks: The LP-closing track "Third Outing" doesn't really work for me, but not enough for me to complain. The opening track "The Watch Trick" is not bad, but not really representative of the rest of the LP.

Final score: 10/10

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