Released: Sep 7, 2009 (UK) / Nov 10, 2009 (US)
Genre: Indie Rock / Post-Punk
Label: Wichita/Warner Bros. Records
Number Of Tracks: 12
With the addition of guitarist Johnny Marr, The Cribs' latest album adds a sleek twist to their indie rock sound.
Ignore The IgnorantFeatured review by: UG Team, on november 30, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Cribs, the English quartet that has already made a name for itself via catchy indie rock tunes, has struck gold with its fourth record. The West Yorkshire band already had an unusual twist thanks to two of the members being twins, and certainly that unique connection allowed for a natural chemistry to exist. But with Ignore The Ignorant, it marks the first album since the addition of Smiths' legend Johnny Marr, and it's a striking difference in sound. The Cribs always had a good sense of melody, but the trademark effects-driven, textured sound of Marr adds an entirely new dimension. Marr apparently has declared himself to be officially a full-time member (along with his other gig in Modest Mouse), which is a huge benefit to a band that was slightly rough-around-the-edges for the first three albums.
Ignore The Ignorant starts out with a few songs that could be considered single material, with the energetic and pop-tinged We Were Aborted as the opener. The power chords that are played for the first minute or so could be associated with any rock band, but not long after you hear Marr's unique sound interjected between charismatic vocalist Ryan Jarman's vocal lines. The first few tracks do have traditional rock arrangements, but thanks to memorable, catchy choruses (which again, the band has always excelled at), the first three songs holds your interest.
The Cribs' more impressive side comes out with songs like City of Bugs, which veers into experimental territory. The track begins what sounds like growling bass noises, followed quickly after by a beautifully picked section by Marr. It's around this point in the album when The Smiths' influence comes to the forefront. There's an undeniably smooth, yet moody aspect to Marr's style as a guitarist, and it's accentuated when Jarman opts for a more sedate vocal style. He never sounds like Morrissey by any means, but he still has a low-key, effortless quality on City of Bugs and Last Year's Snow that recalls some alternative rock artists from the 1980's.
Other highlights include the most rock-oriented track on Ignore The Ignorant, Emasculate Me. That particular song emphasizes Marr's gritty lead work as much as his ambient effects, and the underlying melody ties it all together. The title track, in terms of song construction, is the most reminiscent of an actual Smiths' song. If you've missed having a dose of old school Morrissey, Ignore The Ignorant will be a welcome addition to your playlist. That being said, The Cribs does a fine job of maintaining its original identity even with Marr's presence, and as indie rockers go, they written a solid fourth album. // 9
Lyrics: The Cribs have proven in the past that they have a knack for penning clever lyrics, and Ignore The Ignorant is chock full of quirky humor. Whether Jarman declares his worldliness in the title track (In these passionate places; There's a piece of me in every town; And the dialect changes; They never seem to wear me out) or the imperfection of relationships in Cheat On Me (I could be someone else if you'd rather; Try to win you over like a new stepfather; Smart but still a sucker for whoever asks you; I pictured the scene so you won't have to spell it out for me), he knows how to put a spin on the run-of-the-mill lyrical topics. // 9
Overall Impression: While it could be argued that Marr has suddenly become the driving force of The Cribs (and there's plenty of evidence to support such a claim), the new lineup works incredibly seamlessly together. Ryan Jarman is somewhat of a chameleon with his vocal style, going from a Julian Casablancas-type approach in Stick To Yr Guns to a punk-like passion in Nothing. There is certainly more of a Smiths' sound than ever before, but The Cribs haven't eliminated their indie rock roots on Ignore The Ignorant. // 9
Ignore The Ignorant
patch17, on october 08, 2009 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: From the moment We Were Aborted was released as a free download, I, and probably many other Cribs fans sensed that Ignore the Ignorant was going to be something special. Ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has really helped the band fill out their sound, and expand outwards to another more refined sound.
The album combines classic Cribs ramshackle Indie (We Were Aborted, Hari Kari, Emsculate Me), a slightly (forgive me for saying so) pop-ish sound (We Share The Same Skies, Victim Of Mass Production), and a more thought out, melodic sound (Save Your Secrets, Cheat On Me). Its on the more complex songs like "Victims Of Mass Production" and "Cheat On Me" where I feel Marr's influence really shows. My top 3 songs have to be the 6 minute plus masterpiece City Of Bugs, palm-muted rocker Nothing, and first single Cheat On Me, although the other songs are hardly what I'd call filler material, Emasculate Me, We Were Aborted, and the sadly beautiful Save Your Secrets are also fantastic tracks. // 10
Lyrics: The Cribs have always written good lyrics in my opinion, and this album is no change. It was talked about as being more political, and was partly inspired by the BNP winning a seat in the Jarman brothers' hometown of Wakefield, title track Ignore The Ignorant and We Were Aborted convey this more political sounding message, while other topics like consumerism (Victim Of Mass Production. Possibly my favourite lyric from the album is "But I'm all messed up baby, like the Berlin wall tonight" from City Of Bugs. // 8
Overall Impression: Compared to the Lo-Fi Indy Pop of their self-titled debut, the ramshackle noise of The New Fellas, this album is more in the vein of previous effort "Mens Needs, Womens Needs, Whatever", which I see as a transition from the New Fellas to the sound of this album. Ryan Jarman's singing has improved a lot, and Gary's voice is still strong. Marr's influence shows, and has added to the band's strengths, despite doubts as to whether he would fit the band's style. If I lost this album, I would definetly buy it again, as it is an excellent 12 tracks, and the bands best effort yet. // 10