Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever Album reviews.
Release Date: 05.21.07
Record label: Wichita
by: Jonathan Arber
Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever Rock label: Wichita released: 05.21.07 our score: 4.5 out of 5.0
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On this, their third full-length outing, Wakefield’s brothers Jarman fulfil the promise they hinted at on their self-titled debut and almost achieved on 2005’s The New Fellas. Alex Kapranos (better known for his day job in Franz Ferdinand) has picked up the production reins for this one, apparently in an attempt to further unearth the strong pop vein that has always been present in The Cribs ragged, lo-fi punk. Safe to say he’s succeeded, while not losing any of The Cribs’ sulky charm.
Their last album deserved to be at least a minor hit, but apart from minor scene-baiting anthem “Hey Scenesters!” and a heap of good reviews, it failed to garner the widespread attention it richly deserved. “Men’s Needs...” should see The Cribs edging further towards the spotlight, but although some of the rougher edges of their earlier material are well and truly gone, it’s still unlikely to land them on kids TV. Not that they’d want to be there in the first place – right from the get go, opener “Our Bovine Public” makes it clear that they’re still pouring scorn on the mainstream as they perceive it.
Musically it’s pretty much business as usual - fuzzy, spidery guitar lines and anthemic choruses - and any worries that a touch of polish was going to dull The Cribs’ raw edge prove to be unfounded. Sonic Youth’s Lee Renaldo even pops up to contribute a spoken word interlude to “Be Safe”, which proves to be one of the standout tracks on repeat listens. The Cribs are probably far too interesting a proposition to become darlings of Radio 1 , but “Men’s Needs” should at least see them getting the recognition they deserve.