Release Date: Nov 20, 2020
Record label: Sonic Blew
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
The last Cribs record felt like the closing of a chapter, and it was - just not the one they thought. '24-7 Rock Star Shit' had been in the offing for a while, born of a quickfire session with Steve Albini a decade ago, and then cryogenically frozen on the back burner while the trio turned their attentions elsewhere. By the time they made it back to Chicago, they chose to make the return to their roots a wholesale one, playing a host of intimate residencies in support of the album.
Their last album, 24-7 Rock Star Shit, was their fourth consecutive UK top 10 album - but it was almost their last. Apparently the boys - Gary, Ryan and Ross Jarman - nearly gave it all up, having had enough of the legal and business wranglings of being in the band. However, after The Cribs supported the Foo Fighters at the Etihad Stadium in 2018, a heartfelt discussion with Dave Grohl resulted in the band being offered studio time at the band's LA studio whenever they liked - an offer the brothers eventually took up in 2019, after reuniting at the Jarman family home for Christmas 2018.
On Night Network, the Cribs trade the serrated punk of 24-7 Rockstar Shit for guitar pop that's as joyous as it is cathartic. Exploring the extremes of their sound is nothing new for this band, but the reasons behind the shift seem clearer than ever this time around. Not long after the release of their previous album, the Cribs parted ways with their management when they discovered the rights to their early songs belonged to someone else.
The Cribs have been so consistent, so unrelenting, that fans could perhaps be excused for taking them for granted. After all, the 2017 Albini-engineered '24-7 Rock Star Shit' was their fourth Top 10 album in a row, a remarkable feat for a band whose roots extend so far into the trans-Atlantic guitar underground. But then, for the first time in their lives, The Cribs ran aground.