In the Belly of the Brazen Bull

The Cribs: In the Belly of the Brazen Bull

In the Belly of the Brazen BullI honestly don’t know a whole lot about The Cribs. And I feel, after listening to this album, I still don’t know a whole lot about them. I mean, I know one of the dudes, Johnny Marr, from The Smiths used to be in the band, but left prior to this album, and that at least one song was produced by my fave, Steve Albini, but the album itself really reveals little about what they’re all about. They seem to be three lads (all of whom are brothers) kind of in love with that middling 90s throwback, which is actually just a kind of 70s throwback, rock and roll that stays pretty completely within the same aesthetic box and rarely, if ever, surprises or excites. It’s how I feel about classic bands that adopted the whole British invasion shtick like The Jam and Big Star. The whole genre just feels watery and intentionally wimpy in its attempt to be all pop-like and neat. We get it, dudes, you like The Beatles and seventeen-year-old indie rock and stuff, but these days we either need a really good pop hook or some over-the-top energy or new shtick that differentiates your band from the other three thousand bar bands out there. I could put this album on, and I would seriously have no idea whatsoever who these guys were. It could be some 120 Minutes band from the early nineties or just another Brit band that heard that Yuck album and thought, “hey we can do that.” This is hardly a terrible album, and I do, of course, love Albini’s production on “Chi-Town,” but with all the millions of albums I have, I just need more something in my music these days to warrant many repeat listens.