Punching out some punk rock
By Moira E. McLaughlin
Friday, June 1, 2012
The Cribs’ new album, “In the Belly of the Brazen Bull,” starts with an explosion of distortion (the band’s signature sound) that gives way to a melody swimming among an intense and piercing solo guitar. Such energy doesn’t quit throughout the 14-song punk rock album.
The trio of British brothers -- Ross, Gary and Ryan Jarman -- is known for its lo-fi, pre-garage band sound, and this album highlights what the brothers do best: making rock the old-fashioned way, with a lot of passion and just a few instruments.
The single “Come On, Be a No-One” showcases a rousing, anthemic chorus featuring the high-pitched unison wailings of Gary and Ryan. It’s the kind of unabashed singing you might expect from rebellious and discontented teenagers.
The Jarman brothers are older now, but songs such as “Jaded Youth” sound no less disingenuous, featuring such lyrics as “If I went back to school, would I feel cool?” And the unpolished prog rock guitar is infused with the fury and indignation of youth.
This is the kind of music that will have parents telling their kids, “Please, just turn that down.”
“Stalagmites,” which begins a four-song suite, won’t help the kids’ cause. The guitar jumps and leaps and then settles into a repetitious four-note pattern. The next movements are the softest on the album, and yet even they contain the excitement and fervor of youth and good ’ole punk rock.