The new single from The Cribs, ‘Housewife‘, comes out of the blue as a one off, non-album single, and it sounds like it’s from fucking outer space. The Cribs have, of late, been making leaps and bounds in terms of musical progression. 2007’s Men’s Needs Women’s Needs Whatever saw them hone their lo-fi gems to indie disco precision and then on last year’s Ignore the Ignorant with the addition of Johnny Marr saw them take a larger more “cinematic” sound to quote the Jarman brothers themselves. Now this. It comes in straight away with a wonky organ melody before slipping into an acoustic refrain drenched in reverb with lyrics of the world as a “mobile phone” and the future being a “strip mall” it then builds back up on the looping organ riff with wishes of being, yep, a housewife. None of which is not usual territory for the Jarman Brothers.
It is most likely to piss off the hardcore fans with its different arrangement and instrumentation, but oddly enough it seems to conjure up the sort of vibe from The Cribs debut album. With Ryan on the lead vocals in his broad northern twang, crooning a melody that shouldn’t work but does, a trait reminiscent of early tunes like ‘You & I’ or ‘Learning How to Fight’. And with Edwyn Collins on production duties (who produced The New Fellas) it only helps capture the more “rough round the edges” feel of those early recordings, unlike the more polished sound they have recently taken up.
The Cribs have always been a band who dabbles in experimenting in odd sounds, on songs such as last year’s ‘City of Bugs‘ or numerous B sides. So any detractors claiming this to be “un-cribs like” need to do their homework. This isn’t the instant “indie-pop song” we’re used to from the brothers (and Johnny) and requires further listening to really get into it. It’s a mixed bag but above all else it is definitely an interesting listen and a strong song even if it doesn’t have the same immediacy of the numerous classics in their back catalogue.
OUT NOW. From itunes of limited edition 7”.
From Joe Jezard.