It’s no secret that most of the NME office kind of like The Cribs. And when we say “kind of like”, we may mean that some staffers might have been spotted in Snappy Snaps ordering scatter cushions with the band’s mug shots adorning them. Or that certain writers may have ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’ painfully tattooed on their inner thighs. Or that at least two hacks could possibly have been dumped after shouting “Jaaaaaarman!” during sexual climax. But, you know what? These people aren’t the only ones. OK, when it comes to those specific ‘tributes’ they are, but as The Cribs’ crowd-stealing performances at this summer’s festivals have shown, the Jarman brothers are deftly honing in on the hearts of the nation’s music lovers.
The reason is that, right now, The Cribs are absolutely, precisely what every indie band should be. They cling ferociously to indie values, risking backlashes because they dare to suggest that the crass commercialisation of indie music means more to their lives than Al Gore’s polar bear campaign. They’re not afraid of the fact that they write tunes bigger than any iceberg, melting or not, but won’t let them be filtered through the usual Hot Fuzz production mangler in an attempt to get them on every Joe Fuck’s iPod Shuffle. And they’ve got songs like ‘Moving Pictures’.
Mainline it from your headphones and its deft tune and prickling riff will make any three minutes at a bus stop whizz by – like every good single should. But, just as effectively, it settles in its album den snugly, providing a velvet mid-paced pillow after the frenetic skirmish of more precisely sharpened numbers. It’s those kind of songs – ‘Men’s Needs’, ‘Supersonic’, ‘I Get Along’ – that demand you sacrifice your heart to music when you first hear them. But it’s songs like ‘Moving Pictures’ that are the continual, understated confirmation that when we spunk our loans and wages on albums, gig tickets and spend three days in Somerset bogs, we’re doing exactly the right thing.