The CribsEdit this event
- Astoria, London »
_ “Hey scenesters… hey, hey scenesters…”_
Oh the inevitably irony. The Cribs have become part of the machine they wished to break. And they’ve plenty of luddites clinging on...
The only chaps in a packed Astoria not sweating through their Topman outfits are Sub Poppians The Thermals. Yet the only ones who didn’t seem cool were Sub Poppians The Thermals. A surprise, perhaps? Not when you consider they offer a working model of thermodynamic theory in practice; the band labour through their set, we all stood as still as possible, and zero energy is transferred. For all the effort, they only radiate the kind of warmth you get from a corpse; pale and insipid to the point of nausea. That said, they aren’t actually_ that _bad: their whimsical lo-fi indie, a genre reserved solely for the genetically overachieving and Stephen Malkmus, could appear quite exciting supplemented by enough Pro-Plus to keep Proust from slipping in and out of lost time, but otherwise it’s an exercise in voluntary narcolepsy. Song after song rattles by like an endless, nameless freight, each carriage identical to the previous. Of all their sins, sloth is the worst.
** The Cribs** have no such problem. Their songs are tight-focused bursts of energy; like the Ramones if Dee Dee had a problem with IPC Media instead of smack. Which means, finally, their obvious flaws are irrelevant: of course they play essentially the same song over and over, but what do you expect from a band whose only brave leap forward was over a glass strewn table at the NME Awards? And maybe the trebly guitar which defines the songs does get lost in the mix, the vocals do grate, and the newer songs seem chafed… But when effortlessly formulaic tracks like ‘You’re Gonna Lose Us’ and ‘Men’s Needs’ can crash around the room like a prolapsed Kaiser Chiefs, originality is as redundant as last season’s cardigan.
But picture the scene. “Yeah mate. I’m telling ya like. T’Cribs are our heroes. Righteous punks pushing for an all-encompassing cultural meritocracy. Fighting a good fight for substance over style. Deconstructing this post-Blairite media hegemony, daring to draw a line in the sand where others wouldn’t piss…” And Ryan Jarman’s only wearing a fucking stripy shirt. Is this some huge joke I was blissfully ignorant to? A school non-uniform day I turned up oblivious to? I thought they were on my side of the Berlin Wall, a rare band of principles and taste, when all along they’ve been courting leers like a old whore…
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