Sound — 8
Sonically The New Fellas (Wakefield boys the Jarman brothers' third album) is an evolution on what could be described as their signature sound. Ryan Jarman's scratchy combination of an ancient Fender Starcaster and battered Orange amp is scored all over this album, providing a white wash of distortion to back the poppy hooks of main vocalist and bassist Gary jarman. It all sounds like it's been recorded in a rusty baked bean tin (knowing The Cribs, it may well have been) but that only adds to it's charm; you almost feel like you could get tetenus off these infectious indie pop gems. Bashing (possibly literally) the cans is younger brother of the twins Jared, and his talent is beyond reproach on this cd; hitting the middle line between the tendency to overdo the disco hi-hat clatter (a la Franz Ferdinand) and bashing the living shit out of the cymbals (a la Gary Powell of Dirty Pretty Things) he provides a trashy backbeat for the twins catchy interplay. There are guest instruments (see 'It Was Only Love' for a beautiful Hammond organ section) but it's the twins guitar and bass combo that really makes you want to listen again. it's all light hearted, fun and above all perfect indie pop.
Lyrics — 9
The over riding theme of the lyrics to even the most casual of listeners is anger. The Cribs have a long and well documented feud with the leeches and fakers of the Wakefield indie scene and this album is their most vitriolic bite back yet. Tired of their doubters and haters (and of the vacuos scenester kids), songs like 'Martell' and 'Hey Scenesters!' all smack of dissaffection and deride with a sharp wit. A sample lyric about the underhandedness of their enemy's in 'Martell' sees Gary Jarman sneering 'Oh yeah and one more thing/your tone is annoying/if you can't beat us, don't join us/just post rumours on forums'. The pinnacle of this arrives in the song 'The Wrong Way To Be' which is now their traditional set closer. Over a snarling, snake bite guitar drone Gary Jarman shouts out his greivances and launching a trash talk style fight back with some lyrics being 'How can someone who's only lived through other people/have so much to say? ' and 'Y'know your scene has got a lot to answer for/like all these clued up arseholes tryin' to set us and Wakefield at war'. Although there are many other subjects such as lazy days and lost love covered in The Cribs' unique way on this album, it's their responses to their haters that are most exciting.
Overall Impression — 9
The Cribs may always be cursed with their reputation of being the permanent 'next big thing' but if that is so, then this will surely be a finest hour to be proud of. After listening to this CD I'm sure you'll wish I'd have given this a ten and I want to too; but there's simply a few too many tracks on it and it runs for longer than it needs to. But take it from me, it makes no difference. Tracks like 'Hey Scenesters', 'Martell', 'Mirror Kissers' and 'The Wrong Way To Be' will make a ten appear as as unnescessary as it really is.