If I had to select a term to call the Wakefield band The Cribs, then it certainly would be “Heroes of The Generation.” Who’s generation exactly? The Cribs is a band that any individual from any generation can listen to and not only understand every word sung but also feel enlightened by. Not religious or political enlightenment but true, pure, unadulterated enlightenment.What sealed the deal on me to mark the band with such a term, as “Heroes” was their previous album Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever. The idea of being pretentious with music disgusts me greatly but I can confidently say that their previous album is one of the best records in the past decade to grace your ears and has made me have great confidence in the modern Indie scene.
With that being said it can be imagined the anticipation/dread which dawned upon me while waiting for the band’s new release Ignore The Ignorant. Especially the mixed feelings I’ve felt because of the lineup change. I find myself both loving it and hating it. I love it because Johnny bloody Marr (who was the guitarist of The Smiths) must have felt the same way I did about the band’s previous album that granted him the initiative to join the band. And hating it because I am a lover of three-piece bands and when it came to The Cribs you almost couldn’t do better with a three-piece act; so the idea of the extra guitars felt quite unnecessary to me.
But now the album is officially out and the question has to be asked: Will this be better than Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever? Or will it fall flat on its face? I’ll just give you this as a fruit of thought: If Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever is the band’s Batman Begins, than Ignore The Ignorant is The Cribs’ Dark Knight.
This record is one of the best efforts I’ve seen a band make in such a long time. And I say effort (despite hating the term) due to the amount of work you can hear that went into this album. I know what everyone’s wondering so I’ll address your burning question now (which undoubtedly is “Does Marr’s guitar playing overshadow the band or feel irrelevant?”) And I can gladly say that Mr. Marr knows that he is in a band and not a solo act. His chords not only feel necessary but also add a great deal to where The Cribs are now; basically this is an album that couldn’t have been made without him.
On the track “Cheat On Me,” Mr. Marr utilizes his guitar playing to have a hallucinogenic Nirvana-esque to it. This song is also purely sung by bassist Gary Jarmen and saying we need to hear more of his vastly powerful voice is a vast understatement. Other tracks such as “Emasculate Me” opens with the band utilizing their classic, yet more mature form and has you riveted at the lyrics such as “put water on my misery!” which is shouted by frontman Ryan Jarman.
The title track also is a true gem which boasts on the irony of “you want the boy that is, but you’ll never change the boy that was” and “it’s just a shame you can’t ignore the ignorant, because you see them everyday…”Mostly all the tracks stand out and deliver except “Save Your Secrets” which is rather promising on the song-writing spectrum but the band’s playing reminds me greatly of the Kaiser Chiefs for some reason.
A massive gem of a song is “City of Bugs” which is a song where Marr shows that he truly earned his spot in the band but it must be noted that I would prefer to see the track at the end of the album rather than the fourth track in. “Nothing” is a song that fans of the track “Ancient History” (from the band’s previous release) will love with no barriers. Also, the song “Victims of Mass Production” feels like a long forgotten B-side that finally found the light of day (which makes listening to the song more of a treat).
Now despite all that’s been said, the album does run into some problems. The track lineup does feel a bit off leaving the record to feel slightly disjointed. Also the dual vocals which The Cribs are famous for isn’t as prominent as one would wish. Another thing to note is that despite the strong songwriting the album does feel slightly lazy musically and overall that stops the album from flooring you. It should also be stated that Ignore The Ignorant is a grower album, meaning that it will hook you once you hear it but not pull your strings until later on; it will take further listens to fall in love with this album but once you do you’ll certainly feel that calling The Cribs “Heroes of The Generation” is a vast understatement.