Some bands can harness and capture attention. Other bands earn affection. Then, every so often, a group comes along that’s capable of changing the way people look at, think of, and feel about music.
The Cribs are one such group, and Wakefield’s favoured fraternal trio have been tearing through indie-rock’s standard levels for years. Before Kaiser Chiefs declared ‘Everything Is Average Nowadays’, and even before Arctic Monkeys ‘Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor,’ it was 2005’s ‘The New Fellas’ that set the bar. Before their stint with The Smiths’ Johnny Marr as a member, and long before the band signed a major record deal, The Cribs were calling the ‘Mirror Kissers’ and declaring ‘It Was Only Love’.
It seems odd to think of this album as a decade old. The songs on the record are still as raw, still as empowering, and still as immediate as they ever have been. All it takes is one listen to the opening riffs of ‘Hey Scenesters!’ and you’re back instantly in the thick of it – dancing without a care to the music that defined an era, every bit as relevant today as it was ten years ago.
It may have been with their self-titled debut that the Jarman brothers found their voice, but with ‘The New Fellas’ the siblings demonstrated themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Punky, poppy and anarchic, but never once out of the group’s control, the album veers to the precipice of chaos without quite steering over the edge.
“You think you’re right with your reluctance to accept us, but I know that will change when it’s cool to be an outsider,” the lyrics echo on ‘I’m Alright Me’, inciting the next generation of music-lovers in the way that only The Cribs can. ‘The New Fellas’ may not have its own ‘Men’s Needs’ standout moment, nor the same sized breakthrough into mass popularity. Instead, with such a distinctive personality, it demonstrates The Cribs at their finest – an underground sensation that continue to inspire worldwide adoration.
The three-piece’s grungy aesthetics, raw performance style, and characteristic voices made them one of the most engaging acts around. The venues they played may have been small, but those shows are now infamous; their audiences envied. The collection of songs The Cribs released in 2005 is still as potent and empowering as it was ten years ago.
Since then, The Cribs’ steady climb to success has barely even faltered. Temporarily joining forces with a lauded ex Smiths guitarist, signing to a major label, touring across the globe, and releasing a set of consistently characteristic albums, the Jarman trio’s influence has only continued to grow. It was with ‘The New Fellas’ that The Cribs cemented what they’re capable of.
For DIY’s full Hall of Fame coverage on The Cribs’ ‘The New Fellas’, head here.