The Cribs
In the Belly of the Brazen Bull



by AliW1993 USER (134 Reviews)
May 7th, 2012 | 7 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A welcome regression.

´╗┐Icon and inspiration as he is, it's difficult to avoid the feeling that Johnny Marr's presence in The Cribs was something of a disruption. Nowhere was this more evident than Ignore The Ignorant, the one and only album on which legendary ex-Smiths man featured. Desperately attempting to entwine his distinctive jangle with the Jarmans own vigorous youthful abandon, the end result, although by no means bad, simply portrayed a band attempting to be something that it isn't. Marr's addition did bring about some positives, and did plenty to bolster the band's already impressive live shows, but sadly his main influence was to stifle much of what made the Wakefield trio such a vital force to begin with.

With that in mind, it's perhaps unsurprising that they sound an infinitely better band having reverted to the original lineup. In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull is, to all intents and purposes the album that all Cribs fans wanted to hear; one which harks back to the punky garage spirit of their first three records and marks a return to the grit and sweat largely polished over by Marr's addition. The growth that they've undergone these past four years is immediately evident, but they have nevertheless managed to retain that loose, sloppy charm which propelled them among the UK's best loved indie acts, and something that's once more integral to their success here.

All of the bands albums hitherto have been characterised by fabulous lead singles, and in that respect this one is no different. The priorly released songs here - 'Chi-Town' and 'Come On, Be A No-One' are both classic Cribs, possessing an urgency, directness and brimming, effervescent energy which will inevitably see them join established numbers like 'Hey Scenesters!' and 'Men's Needs' among the assorted favourites. In the past, the remainders of their records have tended to be a mixed bag, but this one represents a step forward in that it remains pretty consistent throughout. You could argue that it experiences a slight dip in the immediate aftermath of 'Chi-Town,' but that pothole is more than evened out by earlier cuts such as 'Jaded Youth' and 'Uptight,' the likes of which which are pretty undeniable.

Things reach something of an apex in the final four tracks, something of a continuous suite which marks arguably their most adventurous artistic foray yet. Rounded off by the appropriately anthemic excess of 'Arena Rock Encore With Full Cast,' it's a perfectly coherent piece which displays the band's ambitions all while remaining close enough to their established sound so as to sound perfectly natural. That is in fact a notion which could effectively be applied to the entire record, one which sees the Jarmans making an authentic return to their original successful formula whilst also making use of the advancements acquired since. It has it's faults - as you'd expect from a band that thrives on imperfection - but it'd be tough to affront The Cribs given that they've just delivered their strongest work to date.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 7th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Also posted at

First review in a while, feedback much appreciated.


'Come On, Be A No-One:'

May 8th 2012


Good review. I've never heard of this band but you make them sound interesting.
Have a POS.

May 8th 2012


ive heard that these guys sound like the horrors, i will def check it aiiight

May 8th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Hmmm not sure I'd compare them to The Horrors... there's not a lot of shoegazing or psychedelic influences, but they're worth a try all the same. None of their albums are classics but they all have some fantastic standouts.

May 11th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

on first listen this is surprisingly awesome.

May 14th 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

Other than a couple of highs here and there, 'Mirror Kissers' and 'You're Gonna Lose Us' specifically, I've always found The Cribs very dull.

As far as this record is concerned I can just about hear through the disguise of the muddy production that they still don't seem to have moved on to another level of songwriting after five albums. The difference in progression between this band and fellow NME favs Arctic Monkeys is ridiculous.

June 25th 2012


Somehow managed to miss the fact that both this and a new Maximo Park album have dropped, I feel out
of the loop. With that said, I will probably be playing them both tomorrow once I find decent copies
tonight. Especially glad to hear that you think this is better than the painfully boring Ignore the

Couple of edits to be made to the review, "It has it's faults" should be "It has its faults" and there
is a double "which" in the last line of the third paragraph, but overall it's obviously a good read.

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