Published Jul 17, 2007In their bid to become a rather decent indie band, Leeds, Englands the Cribs have accidentally become one of the UKs best to emerge in the post-Britpop era. Of course, theyre destined to be forever overlooked the best often are but with a dependable surplus of tireless pop hooks in their system, at least their fans will always find a reason to love them unconditionally. Purveyors of raucously melodic, often sloppy and somewhat brash guitar pop, it seemed like the Cribs would eschew their grimy lo-fi-isms when Franz Ferdinand front-man Alex Kapranos was hired to put his neatly manicured hands on this, their third album. However, Mens Needs, Womens Needs, Whatever is far from polished; the Jarman brothers still spit their dissatisfaction with sex, scenesters and elitists while cooking up a beefy stew of their best and noisiest sonic splendour. "Mens Needs is their blasé attitude in a nutshell, covered in honey-roasted riffs that taste divine. On the flipside, "Womens Needs covers the opposite sex with self-degrading consideration. Rotating singers, bassist Gary and guitarist Ryan swap their subversive vocals harmoniously, even over top of hero Lee Ranaldo, who poetically graces the Sonic Youth homage "Be Safe. The Cribs are here for the taking with another fortifying album and Whatever says much more with its music than its apathetic title suggests.
How did Alex Kapranos end up producing the album?
Ryan: We spent a lot of time together [on tour] and we got on really well. We had started writing new songs and when we got back he said he was interested in producing us. I suppose at first it seemed kind of like a wildcard option, maybe we were a little wary because hed never really produced before but in a lot of ways, that worked out really well. He was very enthusiastic about it and genuinely cared about the record.
It was interesting hearing "Martell featured in a Telus ad over here. Was that something you chose to do? We didnt even know about it until we came to Canada. That was the first we heard about it. We felt a bit stupid, really, when people were asking about it. I mean, it was kind of weird because in the UK we hadnt licensed any of our music to anything, know what I mean? We didnt really have a problem with it but wed rather people find out about us in a more organic way. But as long as they like the songs, I suppose its okay. (Wichita)