The Cribs’ "Ignore the Ignorant"--- Unexpected Triumph
by Chloe Lizotte
(Concord, Massachusetts, USA)
Ignore The Ignorant
For a band like The Cribs that was self-proclaimed to be “a band of brothers” for ages, it was strange news to hear that they had recruited an additional full-time member.
Even more surprisingly, Ryan, Gary and Ross Jarman, the three original Cribs, were not only adding a new guitar player but they were adding Johnny Marr.
Yes, that Johnny Marr, guitarist for indie legends 'The Smiths' and, more recently, 'Modest Mouse'. This definitely raised the stakes for the fourth Cribs album, "Ignore the Ignorant".
Not only did it need to push the band to the next level, it still needed to sound like The Cribs so that the addition of someone with such a well-established style did not alienate the core fan base.
As a huge fan of both The Cribs and all of Johnny Marr’s work, I knew the album would be good, but I had no idea just where it would go.
The album opens with the guitar attack of “We Were Aborted,” taking the blend of guitar hooks and soaring, anthemic choruses that is The Cribs’ trademark to that aforementioned next level.
Ryan’s raw, emotional vocal delivery seems more on point than ever before. Fast-paced and aggressive, the energy of the song is sure to translate amazingly well in the live environment, especially at the riot-like shows The Cribs are notorious for instigating.
“Cheat on Me,” the lead single, slows the album’s heart rate ever so slightly with lighter, intertwining guitars, yet still sends chills down the spine.
Atop the sound scape, Gary takes vocals on this one, his lyrics still clever without being overly poetic. The first few songs come across as distinctly Cribs, with some added sophistication – a natural progression for the band, even if somewhat expected.
Track four is the point where the album begins to separate itself as a true masterpiece. “City of Bugs” begins innocuously enough with feedback-y guitar but when the rhythm locks into place, it is clear that this is no Cribs-by-numbers album.
The lighter verses give way with massive pickslides to a wall of guitars, the musical equivalent of that first drop on a roller coaster.
Everything lines up perfectly---drum, bass, guitar, vocals, and lyrics---all with a new found style and depth. Unlike anything The Cribs have ever touched on before, the six-minute epic takes the band in a fresher direction while nonetheless fitting in effortlessly with the rest of their canon.
The songs flow into one another especially well, fitting together as an album rather than as just a collection of songs.
The title track stands out among the fray, seeming to sum up what the band tries to convey in their 47-minute musical statement of a record. This serves as an excellent representation of their new sound, entangled riffs forming a background for “throwing England to the dogs.”
The CD finishes with “Stick to Yr Guns,” a mellower end for this adrenaline rush in audio but still a fitting bit of closure. Its momentum gradually builds to become much more than a final ballad and one of the best songs on the record.
The Cribs have written some of their career’s best. The doors that the new material has opened overshadow the album’s, in essence, supreme excellence.
Johnny Marr’s guitar, while distinguishable, serves the purpose of the songs without eclipsing the original Cribs. "Ignore the Ignorant" is an unexpected triumph.
With this record as its starting point, the possibilities for album number five are enough to make all Cribs fans everywhere tap their Converses impatiently on the floor before remembering they can just tap along to this fourth album in the meantime and make the wait for #5 tolerable.
About The Writer
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.