By Josh Turner
The celebrated talents of Johnny Marr helped propel The Cribs to new heights, and, despite such a lofty perch breaking faith with their raucous Wakefield roots, the Jarman brothers managed to keep up with the rhythmic Smiths writer and ultimately made it work.
But now, with Marr gone, leaving behind only traces of memories of his roughly coiffed hair and impeccable song penning abilities, The Cribs look set to revisit the clamour and throttle of their earlier efforts as they prepare to release new album In The Belly of The Brazen Bull, on May 17th.
The first yield from the new record comes in the form of Chi-Town, a three and a half minute gambol of hot mess guitar work and sing-with-me vocals reminiscent of The Replacements.
Behind Ryan Jarman’s slightly-too-snotty-for-indie-vocals, lies a stripped down raw parade of Steve Albini’s Engineered instrumentation.
One of the guitars used to record this track, at the Albini-founded Electrical Audio in Chicago, is the very six string that Kurt Cobain worked with when recording Very Ape for Nirvana’s third album In Utero.
You can hear the same low-rent, tube amp style warmness billowing around in a swarm of chord chaos. Meanwhile carefully placed microphones mutate the splatter of Ross Jarman’s drumming into something almost garage-y, as if snipped from The Ramones favourite Bonzo Goes To Bitburg.
All in all Chi Town plays out as a D.I.Y entrenched pop music nod to noise. The returning British trio, embroiling themselves in late 80’s / early 90’s indie lore, look set to reduce sweat box sized, nay, academy sized rooms to bedlam with this new material.