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The Cribs - 24-7 Rock Star Shit (Album Review)

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 Written by Huw Baines

That the Cribs have released an album called ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’ makes plenty of sense. The title’s mix of side-eye and snark is a Jarman go-to, much as the record’s febrile mix of yelped melodies and filthy guitars will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s followed and enjoyed their semi-pro approach to being a punk band.

Produced by Steve Albini and stemming from initial sessions in Chicago for 2012’s ‘In the Belly of the Brazen Bull’, this record is in hock to the rough edges that were forced to sit out the sunny ‘For All My Sisters’. It finds the Cribs largely as loud and forthright as they’ve been in a long time.

It’s easy to surmise that this represents a reaction to their recent celebratory run marking 10 years since the release of a knockout pop LP, ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’.

But, to borrow a sentiment from that record’s I’m A Realist, the Cribs have always been indecisive (pieces of shit).

Viewed as a whole, their discography veers easily between the feral and the finessed, and ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’ is simply the latest twist in the tale. It feels like they’ve picked up a five-year-old thought and decided it deserved seeing through regardless of how it colours their more recent work.

It also helps that the Cribs are a nice fit for Albini’s bare-bones approach, which rewards good songs and punishes undercooked ones, and Year of Hate, In Your Palace and Dendrophobia are monsters at the top of the order. They possess melodies that revel in the grot of their surroundings and riffs that bite and elbow for space. “We can’t afford each other,” runs the refrain on the latter and you can feel the desperation in its delivery.

On the other side of the coin you have Sticks Not Twigs, a lithe acoustic track dotted with keys, and the doomy, synth-drenched Dead at the Wheel. Both are out of place among the short, sharp shocks elsewhere. Neither is worth dismissing entirely, but the cumulative effect is to put things into an elongated skid that the second half's highlights (hat tip to the post-punk hooks of closer Broken Arrow) can’t halt.

Excise them from the tracklist and ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’ stacks up as guitar, bass and drums across eight punk songs and a total running time of 30 minutes. Sounds magic.

The Cribs Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun December 03 2017 - GLASGOW King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
Mon December 04 2017 - GLASGOW King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
Tue December 05 2017 - GLASGOW King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
Wed December 06 2017 - GLASGOW King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
Fri December 08 2017 - MANCHESTER Manchester Gorilla
Sat December 09 2017 - MANCHESTER Manchester Gorilla
Sun December 10 2017 - MANCHESTER Manchester Gorilla
Mon December 11 2017 - MANCHESTER Manchester Gorilla
Thu December 14 2017 - LONDON ULU Live at Student Central
Fri December 15 2017 - LONDON ULU Live at Student Central
Sat December 16 2017 - LONDON ULU Live at Student Central
Mon December 18 2017 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Tue December 19 2017 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Wed December 20 2017 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Thu December 21 2017 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Fri December 22 2017 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club

Click here to compare & buy The Cribs Tickets at Stereoboard.com.





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