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The Cribs - Night Network (Album Review)

Wednesday, 18 November 2020 Written by Matty Pywell

If it weren’t for a few words from Dave Grohl, a Cribs album in 2020 might not have been possible. After supporting Foo Fighters at a show in Manchester a while back, Grohl offered the band his Los Angeles studio for them to find distraction in, and they subsequently recorded their first album since 2017’s ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’.

The distraction was required because recent years have found the Wakefield trio embroiled in a drawn out, debilitating legal fight stemming from a rupture with their former management company. ‘Night Network’ is their first self-produced work and something of a triumph of will in adversity.

One trait the brothers Jarman have always excelled at is writing digestible, chant-worthy choruses, and here Running Into You, Screaming In Suburbia and Siren Sing-Along look poised to provide shouts aplenty at future live shows. 

Another key ingredient that has solidified the band’s indie legend status is the abundance of guitar riffs and hooks within their repertoire, not to mention that a certain Johnny Marr is a key part of Cribs folklore.

You could even think of a guitar as being the fourth Jarman brother, thanks to the way in which they give it a voice. Whether it be searing leads, a blast of overblown distortion or a haunted rumination, lingering like an echo of the past on a track such as I Don’t Know Who I Am, that dynamic is in full swing here.

The main issue on ‘Night Network’ comes from the lyricism. While the choruses are highlights at times, the verses leave a little bit to be desired. Narratives about past relationships affecting the present become particularly formulaic in the middle of the record, and there’s precious little for the listener to engage with.

The themes are seemingly repeated across consecutive songs as the record develops a sense of lethargy. That spiral is eventually broken by Siren Sing Along, but the overall feeling is that while ‘Night Network’ has some great songs primed for the gig circuit, it does lack a certain level of depth.

The Cribs Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat November 21 2020 - VIRTUAL EVENT Cavern Club
Sun June 06 2021 - PRESTON Blitz
Mon June 07 2021 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Wed June 09 2021 - SHEFFIELD Foundry
Thu June 10 2021 - KINGSTON New Slang
Fri June 11 2021 - LONDON Roundhouse
Mon June 14 2021 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Tue June 15 2021 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Boiler Shop
Thu June 17 2021 - GLASGOW SWG3
Fri June 18 2021 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy
Sun June 20 2021 - HALIFAX Piece Hall

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

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