As amazing as the British indie music scene has been in the past, how is anyone supposed to decide between The Futureheads, Arctic Monkeys, Art Brut, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, and The Cribs? As much as I listened carefully to every note to The Cribs’ major label debut Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever, I honestly cannot tell this group’s album apart from any of the other condescending, menacing, and assertive post-punk cock rock band’s output that sensationalist UK music journalists try to persuade London hipsters to buy. Why should anyone have to buy the same album six times in a year?
It’s just unfortunate for The Cribs they have to be that sixth album NME is persuading the public to buy because then the trio wouldn’t have to be the victims of my soapbox tirade against the Brit music press and the labels that cater to their every whim. Then The Cribs wouldn’t seem like a cheap imitation of what seemed new and fresh two years ago, but more like a precision rock band with catchy hooks and melodies with some surprises hidden throughout, including a stream of consciousness tale from Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo on the track "Be Safe." The track is probably the only risky thing on what is a pretty cautious album from a band who portrays an image that is anything but careful.