Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Cribs: keeping real punk very much alive

If I got a pound for every time I heard someone saying that rock and guitar music is dead I would be Bill blooming Gates by now. Seriously guys, just because a song doesn't make the top ten that doesn't mean it's no good. There are some amazing gems out there waiting to be discovered - and they're not all from The Stone Age either!

Songs like Chi-Town by Wakefield brothers The Cribs. The best The Cribs ever did in the Hot 40 was Men's Needs getting to #17 and they haven't even entered the singles chart since 2007. But Chi-Town (which means Chicago for all of us who didn't have a clue) is still an absolute authentic sounding monstrosity that gives the dwindling flames of garage punk and grunge rock that extra fuel they need to keep on burning and give rock believers like myself the hope that we will have our day some time soon.

In my eyes it's all about that initial two-and-a-half seconds of pure and utter feedback at the beginning of the record (best intro since Bon Iver did Perth), Ryan and Ross going in roughly two thirds of the way through and the reverb on the final five chords before sneaking in a little sixth one right at the end there. That is rock 'n' roll people; none of this autotuned rubbish, just guys singing, playing guitars and drumming together in the one room using as few takes as possible.

So Chi-Town could have been perfected with each piece recorded separately in a million different bits and then put through this, this and this computer system and then - DON'T CARE! Music is all about authenticity, imperfection and intimacy: The Cribs, The Strokes and Modest Mouse, Arctic Monkes, Kasabian, Muse, The Killers, Bloc Party, even rappers like Wiley and Dizzee? Oasis? Why do you think live gigs are more popular than albums? Hmm?

Therefore In the Belly of the Brazen Bull out 7th May (or any of the other four Crib's albums) is a perfect example of an imperfect demo. Because at the end of the day it's a demo, a demo of what's in store if you go to any of the six dates on their UK tour this May at Nottingham (7th), London (8th), Bristol (9th), Glasgow (11th), Manchester (12th) or Eastbourne (13th). If there's one fully mastered or completely spotless song of Brazen Bull I will be shocked to say the least.

The Cribs are one of the biggest British bands for a reason, they're churning out anthems with every album. Despite having not got very far in the charts, the boys are one of the most followed and talked about bands in Britain with their casual riffs and carefree, everyday lyrics ("you know the one, you're always there"). All three brothers are living the dream at the moment and Chi-Town is only the beginning of another chapter in the ever exciting story of The Cribs.

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