The Cribs The New Fellas

The Cribs The New Fellas
Born out of a love for the American indie underground, Leeds, England’s the Cribs (brothers Ryan, Gary and Ross Jarman) came into consciousness with last year’s shambolic and unappreciated self-titled album that married Britain’s flair for pop hooks with lo-fi arrangements straight from the K Records catalogue. The New Fellas follows their debut in fine and improved fashion. While they still aren’t masters of their instruments, the trio have tightened up their slipshod gutter pop and upped the anthems, providing even more tandem vocal harmonies by guitarist Ryan and bassist Gary. Fervent anti-hipster hit single "Hey Scenesters” has already graced an episode of The O.C. with its pumping rhythm and infectious chant. "Martell,” with its lazy bop and careless "la-las” fits snugly next to "Mirror Kisses,” which blows the roof off with its noisy, rampant spirit, and best of all is "The Wrong Way to Be” — with its slow build, bratty pub chanting chorus, and the definitive Sonic Youth-inspired closing racket. And yet "It Was Only Love” is the album’s standout moment, as the brothers Jarman inhabit the bodies of 1920s street performers, strumming a guitar and squeezing an accordion to a ragtime beat. Just another sign of why this tireless trio are so stirring.

What made you choose Edwyn Collins as a producer? Ryan: I don’t know how we ended up working with Edwyn. Someone just said that he asked if he could work on our next album and we’d always liked Orange Juice. So we went down and met him and he had exactly the same kind of attitude towards the industry as us. We felt like we were underdogs after the first album and that’s how he felt when he was in Orange Juice. We wanted to book an extra couple weeks just to hang about with him.

How’s he doing now? [Collins suffered a brain haemorrhage several months ago.] He’s at home now and he’s been playing a little and has taken a few steps, so he’s definitely on his way.

What happened to the Calvin Johnson singing voice from the first album? That was my voice! It’s really weird because I sing the low and high parts on the first album. We’ve always been into Calvin and we did gigs with him when we first started. It wasn’t a conscious decision to drop it. Those songs were written in the studio whereas this album was written on the road and I found it really hard because I can’t do that voice when we play live. I would like to do it but a lot of people found the last record weird, so I dunno. (Wichita)