The Cribs Return With 'All My Sisters', Definitely A Pop Record
The Cribs have declared their new album 'All My Sisters' to be a pop record, not that it’s obvious from the abrasive, chromatic riff of opener "Finally Free". The production is notably cleaner, the vocals are mixed higher and the melodies are stronger than their last album.
However, the band have not strayed too far from there formula, the guitars are still weird sounding; covered in distortion and chorus effects and the lyrics are delivered by a larynx-shredding scream. What makes this album truly pop is the song writing: the chord progressions are clever and interesting, and nothing feels excessive or overwrought. Where both 'Ignore the Ignorant' and 'In the Belly of the Brazen Bull' seemed to be letting the darkness in a little, there is a real sense of fun and confidence here.
The real star of this album is the rhythm section witch benefits massively from the cleaner production. This is most notable on the unusually funky "Burning for No One", which features some extremely danceable guitar/bass interplay. A few of these songs are in 6/8, a meter that traditionally lends itself better to ballads than rockers, but in the cribs hands provides some of the albums best moments. "An Ivory Hand" is classic power pop and "Pacific Time’s" pummeling rhythm makes its sing-along melody even more enjoyable.
The album reaches its climax with the seven minute "Pink Snow"; which begins as heavily, processed guitar arpeggios before being joined by a light rhythm section and a second, clean guitar seeming picking the most dissonant notes possible. It’s a song that switches between quiet and very, very loud, usually calming down to add gravitas to the central lyric ‘for all my sisters, I promise you this, I'll try and be brave for you’ before ending on a riff that echoes both Sonic Youth and The Holy Bible. It’s a brilliant closer and an album highlight. With 'For All My Sisters' The Cribs have delivered an amazing pop record, a super weird pop record, but a pop record all the same.
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Words by Jack Buckley