The Cribs – In the Belly of the Brazen Bull

Liana Gow-Killingbeck reviews the latest offering from The Cribs:

I’d been waiting for quite a while to get my paws on some fresh material by the English trio (and brothers), The Cribs. I’m pretty sure I played their previous record, Ignore the Ignorant, a little bit too much in the past because even my CD player got sick of it and decided to spit it out, craving something new. So you can’t really blame my ears for being rather overzealous as I began to listen to the band’s 5th studio album, In the Belly of the Brazen Bull.

With the loss of guitar legend Johnny Marr, this album is perhaps a little less impressive than its precursor, but still extremely head-bop worthy nonetheless – with a brilliant ending to boot – and it radiates an expected garage and lo-fi rock vibe that will undoubtedly be well received by the band’s loyal cluster of indie followers. The opening track Glitters Like Gold is catchy and fun, and will suck listeners in like a tasty chocolate milkshake through one of those radical twisted straws.

To be honest though, my interest started to wane after the first few songs, as I felt like I couldn’t really grasp onto something distinguishable. That’s until I heard Back to the Bolthole, which, with its punky heaviness, is definitely the standout track on the album. Then, immediately juxtaposed with the record’s softest song, I Should Have Helped, I found myself responding rather emotionally, but in a good, gloomy sort of way.

To finish, The Cribs fused the final four tracks together to create a suite that left me feeling uplifted and, well, pretty darn satisfied. Though some may consider this closing to be a smidge longwinded, I appreciated the way the songs had been interwoven as I could clearly differentiate the feelings of each of them individually, as well as holistically. I could follow the flow of the music easily; the sharp marching drum beats of Stalagmites, through the harmonic dreaminess of Like a Gift Giver and Butterflies, to the ringing finality of Arena Rock Encore with Full Cast. Oh, delight!

The brothers even apologise for the lengthy time it took them to release this beastly album, as they chant “Sorry that it’s taken years” repeatedly in the last song. Well, apology accepted boys, because I believe In the Belly of the Brazen Bull was totally worth the wait.

Review by Liana Gow-Killingbeck. Have a look at her excellent fashion blog here.