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The Cribs: In the Belly of the Brazen Bull

The Cribs
In the Belly of the Brazen Bull
(Wichita Recordings)

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In The Belly of the Brazen Bull is the latest album from British brothers and indie rockers, The Cribs. It’s been three years since their last release, Ignore the Ignorant, and their first again as a three-piece. Most bands evolve their sounds quite drastically over their lifespan, rarely stepping their sound back an era. Yet, that is what we have here.

I’ve followed The Cribs ardently for years now, finding the band in a period of my life where I grabbed all the Brit Rock I could find with reckless abandon. I mark their 2005 release, The New Fellas, as my favorite album. A garage rock masterpiece, it is what elevated them to stardom. In The Belly of the Brazen Bull fully attempts to recapture that glory, noticeably reducing the production value of the past few years.

The first single off Belly, “Come On, Be a No-One,” is a coarse, simple rock anthem that is easy to please. Check out “Chi-Town” also for a more complicated song and the most energetic piece off the album. It was my first exposure to the album, and took some warming up before I really got to appreciate it.

I’ve really enjoyed the slower, more melancholy songs off Belly, which have always been a Cribs specialty. Give tracks like “Anna,” “Uptight,” “Confident Men,” and “Pure O” a listen if you’re like me and find solace from the everyday in angst-ridden music that doesn’t go easy on the guitar.

Belly finishes off with a seamless four-song finale, the last track of which is entitled “Arena Rock Encore With Full Cast.” It’s quite an ironic title for a Cribs song, as their last show I saw skipped the encore. Perhaps they’ll be whistling a new tune as they bring in a new era for the band. They certainly have some quality new material to work with.

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About John Harrison

John Harrison is a music afficionado and web developer in Hoboken, New Jersey.
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