The Cribs - Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever
Reviewed by Helen on 9th June 2007
Yorkshire family band The Cribs have been registering on the general musical radar for a while, and deservedly so. Their previous offerings oozed originality and raw energy that helped them build up a powerful fan base, which everyone worth their salt knows is everything. What's more, they're mates with the Kaiser Chiefs, Maximo Park, Death Cab For Cutie and Franz Ferdinand, and have toured with all four (Alex Kapranos produced this album). They've been crawling around the UK singles chart for a while. People were expecting a lot from this album: the first release for two years.
There are some awesome tracks in the mix: Our Bovine Public kicks off in perfect style, with no messing; great hook, sing-a-long-able chorus, stomping rhythm and general bonhomie all round. Men's Needs is fantastic - tight, catchy and simple. It's quite easily the best new track I've heard in months. My Life Flashed Before My Eyes is, again, light and bright and perturbing clever. These tracks are verily the lemon mousse of indie: sharp, clean and cleansing.
However, there's a lot of dead weight as well. The usual problem of annoying wailing indie tones is strewn across tracks like Women's Needs and I'm A Realist, and Be Safe is just plain weird. The vocals on Major's Titling Victory sound like whichever twin is singing is in engaging in some form of sadomasochistic orgy. Plus, it's another one of those annoying anti-MTV songs. Yes, you can't find time for her. You're empty because of MTV. Shock horror. It's hardly worth adding to the immense pile of "MTV is my NME" tracks out there.
In the end, I'm afraid to say that if I were asked to describe this album in one word, that word would be "generic".
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