When will it all stop? That’s all I want to know. If I could have a concrete date, that would be nice. Then I would know how long to hole up until it’s all over. I am, of course, talking about the never ending litany of stylish `garage’ bands. They appear as if out of a clown car, band after band, exiting from the same small, too-trendy Mini Cooper. Rather than clown noses, everyone has shaggy hair that covers their mascara’d eyes, and instead of big floppy shoes they all have checkered Vans.
As opposed to the bands they emulate, say the Ramones or the Stooges, the people in today’s garage bands are fairly good looking with not nearly the heroin chic look that Joey or Iggy had. They come from all over, though mostly from New York like the Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Who would have thought that a band from Sweden like the Hives could sound like that anyway? But I digress. My point is that I thought the trend was over, or I at least hoped as much. Instead, we get the Cribs.
My initial reaction upon seeing the band’s name, which is also the name of the album, (hmm, self-titled, how original) was that I was sent a soundtrack to the MTV show showcasing b-list celebrities homes. Instead, it turned out to be a British version of the whole `new garage’ sound. Since they’re from `jolly old,’ I, for some reason, thought of the different names that Brits have for things. For instance, a boot is a car’s trunk. So I began to wonder if they used the word `garage.’ (I happen to know for a fact that they do, but play along). I know that they also use the word `carpark.’ So why can’t they call the style of music `carpark’ music? Then I began to laugh. This is what I put together in my head. They call trucks `lorry’s’ in England. There is a Simpsons episode where Moe thinks Homer is uppity for having a `garage’ as Moe himself calls it a `car hole.’ So what better name for down and dirty rock music than `lorry hole’? C’mon, that’s funny.
Anyway, I’ve just realized that I’ve written three whole paragraphs without mentioning anything about the music of the Cribs. They’re gaining popularity in their home country right now, but do not have that much exposure in the States. Essentially, if you like the Strokes, the Hives and Franz Ferdinand, you’ll probably like the Cribs. There’s nothing too avant-garde or daring about them. They play straightforward rock and roll music. Some Brits get upset when they hear the Cribs compared to the Strokes, but when the song “Things You Should Be Knowing” sounds dead-on like “Last Nite,” there’s nowhere else to go, mates. Also, how about using a different font on the back cover of the CD than the font used for Room on Fire? If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. That’s what I always say. Actually, I’ve never said that, only typed it once. There are certainly enjoyable songs on The Cribs, specifically the songs that sound more like Franz Ferdinand’s first EP such as “You & I” and “Third Outing.” I know that this might sound confusing, but even though the Cribs are somewhat derivative of the Strokes, the Strokes seem to me to be a more derivative band. Huh? Yeah, I know. I’m still trying to figure that one out.
Franz Ferdinand – Darts of Pleasure EP
The Strokes – Is This It
The Libertines – The Libertines