Claiming punk rock and indie are dead and that pop certainly is not a dirty word, The Cribs are back from their three-year long hiatus with a new label, new perspective and a promise of two new records. Afresh signed to Sonic Blew/Sony Red ahead of the release of their sixth studio album, For All My Sisters, said to be influenced by both 80s pop and The Replacements, The Cribs are still battling the same war they have been throughout their decade long existence, the recurrent war between pop and rock. For All My Sisters is an impeccable illustration of The Cribs aptitude of creating indie pop flawlessness via bold guitar riffs, poignant lyrics and wailing vocals.

‘Burning For No One,’ the first single from the record successfully exhibits the 80s influence as it runs a fine line between chaotic energy and pop proficiency whereas tracks like ‘City Storms’ and ‘Diamond Girl’ could have been easily been positioned anywhere in The Cribs’ back catalogue.

Not letting their pop influences get the most out of them, The Cribs just aren’t capable of abandoning their amps, Crib-like shambolic guitar lines and roar-along choruses for any heartfelt, tear-inducing pop crap. In fact this new influence has encouraged The Cribs to take their distortion to new, higher levels and this is evident in tracks like ‘Different Angle and ‘Summer of Chances.’

Although, there certainly isn’t any chance of The Cribs ever sounding too polished and refined, it feels that For All My Sisters is ominously lacking in variation of musical styles. Seven-minute album closer, ‘Pink Snow’ pulls and pushes at the senses with it’s fluctuation between soft and brash and ‘Simple Story’ with it’s smoother, morose sentiment, are the only two tracks on For All My Sisters offering a differentiation of pace. That said, it is a dazing triumph that despite the ominous lack of pace-changers, the record at no point could begin to sound repetitive.

Pop might not be a dirty word, but The Cribs have opposed themselves tremendously as they bring indie back to life with For All My Sisters.

Sarah El-saeidy


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