Everyone loves a trier and few bands have tried harder than The Cribs. It seems like forever that they've sat between the gutter and super stardom. But where 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever' seemed so close to giving them the break they deserved, the comparative flop of 2009's 'Ignore The Ignorant' set them back.
Three years on and its clear that The Cribs have learned from their experiences. 'In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull' is loaded with fast-paced indie rock numbers destined to grab attention. But rather than replicate past successes the band's sound has moved on. Still grounded in garage rock, tracks such as 'Uptight' illustrate they've developed, becoming heavier while also using more intricate layers of sonic texture that introduces more glossy, warbling sounds to the straight guitar-sound.
These factors give a depth to an already catchy selection of songs. As such there's a fair few potential singles, from the Ash-like 'Chi Town' to actual single, the crushing 'Glitters Like Gold'. If there's anything missing from this latest step in The Cribs' development, its that some of the bleak Northern philosophy the band are loved for doesn't feature as prominently in these new songs. 'Come on, Be A No One' might have an anthemic chorus and a Nirvana-ish verse, but its no longer quite as believable that this really is a sentiment of this globe-trotting band still subscribe to. Meanwhile 'Stalagmites Like A Gift Giver Butterflies Arena Rock Encore With Full Cast' sounds horribly upbeat, like a cross between The Beatles and My Chemical Romance stuffed full of Prozak.
Regardless of the departure of their nihilistic edge, songs like 'Pure O' prove that The Cribs have come a long way with the crafting of 'In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull'. Far more melodic in general, this instance sees riff-after-riff are layered over each other into eventual crescendoing feedback – far more developed than previous efforts.
Whatever The Cribs might have lost in getting to this point in their career, they demonstrate they've gained infinitely more in writing catchy songs. While those on 'In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull' may not hit home so instantly with a disaffected youth as past songs have, it easy to think this new material will take hold in people's hearts. A great effort that deserves to put garner The Cribs the success they've sought for so long.