The Cribs Return With Pop Juggernaut ‘An Ivory Hand’ – First Impressions Review

It’s been three long years since The Cribs last released an album (2012’s ‘In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull’) and two since any sign of new music (‘Leather Jacket Love Song’, as featured on career-spanning compilation ‘Payola’). Until this morning, when the Jarman brothers announced details of their sixth studio album. ‘For All My Sisters’. and put out teaser track ‘An Ivory Hand’. It’s the first of two records the trio have been working on; the noisy punk album produced by Steve Albini is still to come.

Recorded in New York with The Cars’ Ric Ocasek, ‘For All My Sisters’ is the pop release. Chugging geek-rock guitars reminiscent of early Weezer drive the song as synths weave melodic patterns and bassist Gary’s layered vocals soar over the top. Full of poetic touches, lyrics like “what a waste for an ivory hand/Exquisitely shocked as I am” and “always walking through webs” conjure up bold, tangible images.

It’s a huge statement to return with – a gargantuan pop song that threatens to overshadow everything that’s come before it with beefed up, gleaming hooks. And it marks what the band are calling the beginning of a new chapter, having left previous label home Wichita to sign with a major, Sony RED.

It’s rare for a band to stay dignified and consistently brilliant throughout their career, but the Jarmans have shown no signs of slipping so far. Even with almost 13 years under their belts, ‘An Ivory Hand’ – and what I’ve heard of the album – is proof that they’re not about to veer off into the wilds in 2015. If anything, it makes crystal clear that, more than ever, The Cribs are back and mean business.