Album: The Cribs, Ignore the Ignorant (Wichita)

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The Independent Culture

Last heard wielding guitar for American alt.rockers Modest Mouse a year or two ago, Johnny Marr continues his outreach programme dedicated to bringing a touch of intrigue and style to otherwise unremarkable indie rockers by now turning up as the second guitarist in The Cribs.

In a few places – most notably the catchy "We Share the Same Skies" – he appears to have brought a more potent pop sensibility to the band, and the occasional cluster of ringing arpeggios, such as those percolating through the single "Cheat on Me", are surely emanating from his hands. But it's tough for him to make that significant an impression, ranged as he is against an entire phalanx of Jarman brothers whose musical tastes clearly ossified somewhere around the early 1990s. Whether urgently strident ("We Were Aborted") or grungily shambling ("Nothing"), there's an unavoidable air of nostalgie de la boue about the songs on Ignore the Ignorant which effectively prevents The Cribs from developing in any fresh or interesting manner. "City of Bugs" is probably the closest they come to progression here, a sluggish shuffle adorned with contrasting flecks of guitar, subsiding into furious trilling for substantial periods; but it lumbers on for far too long, to no apparent point.

Download this We Share the Same Skies, City of Bugs, Cheat on Me