After three years of gossip, rumours and anxious anticipation, the Cribs’ album number five ‘In the Belly of the Brazen Bull’ is finally here. Fans will be pleased to know that the Wakefield-trio are up to their old tricks again. Revving their guitars with an anthemic, distorted, scuffling sound for opening song ‘Glitters like Gold’, it is immediately clear that they’ve grown a little older. Whilst they hold on to their punk roots, the simplistically addictive melody shows a sophistication not yet seen by the band.
‘Come on, be a no one’ has already been released to fans as a single. Frequent pop hooks are evidence that Johnny Marr had a great impact on the band. They are also evidence that the band is going on just fine without him. The drum pattern in ‘Jaded Youth’ changes almost as frequently as the tempo did in ‘Baby Don’t Sweat’ from their 2004 debut album. In this track and ‘Anna’ it is clear that the Jarman brothers have done some soul searching in their time out.
‘Confident Men’ changes the whole tone of the album. This nostalgic number enters with a cool flam-echo drum effect, guitars gradually layer themselves throughout and lyrics are calmly sung on top. Never fear though, ‘Uptight’ puts dirty distortion and poppy hooks straight back into the album. When some cute kids were asked to review ‘Chi Town’ on youtube, one of them said: “it makes me feel a little bit like jumping off this chair and going oh my god look how amazing I am.” Yes, it’s cute, but it’s also very true.
As it turns out, ‘Pure-O’ was originally recorded by David Richards (Queen’s producer) but sessions ended when the trio were unhappy with the stadium sound. Nevertheless, this epic track has a tasteful anthemic quality to it. ‘Back to the Bolthole’ continues this epicness with a little bit more grit.
A sweet little acoustic track, ‘I should have helped’ comes just before the finale – a rare but wonderful occurrence to hear what they have to offer acoustically. The finale is an eleven minutes medley of four different tracks. ‘Arena Rock Encore With Full Cast’ does pretty much what it says on the tin – rounds off a brilliant album. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Cribs have returned.