The Cribs latest album, their follow up to their last release two years ago, “Ignore the Ignorant” sees the band take their sound to more dynamic heights. Produced by Steve Albini and Dave Fridmann equally, the album seems to go back and forth in what direction and sound it wishes to stick to. Albini is legendary for his harsh, scuzzy sound and while this may work for his usual repertoire of grunge bands such as Nirvana and The Pixies, here it just seems muddled and confused. Fridmann’s influence, while less apparent, appears in between the walls of noise, appealing to the bands pop sensibilities and probably is more suited to the band’s sound in general.
More often than not, I found the songs beginnings, aggressive, big and dynamic. Upon hearing the first chords of opener “Glitters like Gold” I thought I was listening to a Big Black record by mistake. While it began dark and heavy, once the Yorkshire accents kick in it just doesn’t work. This happens frequently with songs like “Back to the Bolthole” and “Stalagmites” standing out for me. “Stalagmites” sounds like a completely different band altogether, but for me, was the best track on the album, if only for its consistency in sound the majority of the song.
While Cribs fans will more than likely revel in this album, seeing it as the band taking their sound to the next level, I would disagree. Perhaps with Johnny Marr leaving last year they felt in need of change, but instead came across as Steve Albini’s play thing. Really hit and miss.