push and a shove and the Cribs are Johnny Marr’s: The layered rhythm guitars
that announce Ignore the Ignorant are
a heady flashback to The Queen Is Dead.
But as soon as Gary Jarman’s husky voice enters, the newly four-piece British
band sounds pretty much like it did on the three albums it made as a trio.
Marr’s flair for surging intros, so resounding on the album-opening “We
Were Aborted,” is demonstrated on other songs, notably “We Share the
Same Skies.” Yet without his own melodies to embellish, the added
guitarist can’t significantly enhance the Cribs’ spiky, growly style.
Ignore the Ignorant includes some
grabbers, even if it doesn’t pack anything as indisputable as “Hey
Scenesters” or “Our Bovine Public.” Besides “We Were
Aborted,” which deserves its lead-off position, “Victim of Mass
Production” (despite its gimmicky lyrics) and especially “Nothing”
stir the blood.
Gary Jarman and brothers Ryan and Ross don’t show the musical (or emotional)
range to benefit from Marr’s orchestral guitars and dance-pop veteran Nick
Launay’s production. While the stormily expansive “City of Bugs” nearly
justifies its six-minute length, most of the midtempo tunes drag. (They’re less
reminiscent of the Smiths than Marr-era The The.) With their thumping drums and
feedback flourishes, songs like “Emasculate Me” hardly sound
emasculated. But neither do they sound like the work of a band whose vision has
grown as complex as its arrangements.
Standout Tracks: “We Were
Aborted,” “Nothing” MARK