After two top ten albums, The Cribs may no longer be a British cult band, but they still have a major challenge in upholding their long stretch of great music with For All My Sisters, their fifth studio album.
Formed in 2001, the band consists of twins Ryan and Gary Jarman on guitar and bass, respectively, along with their younger brother Ross on drums. Whether it comes from a family bond or not, the brothers combine their instruments masterfully, with the guitar riffs, bass lines, and drum beats all melding together into one fluid sound.
The bass particularly stands out in “Burning for No One”, while the drums in “Pacific Time” are especially outstanding. The guitar is solid throughout the album, perhaps best in “Different Angle”, the best song of the album and reminiscent of the catchy riffs that have made The Cribs’ music so great in the past.
While music contributes to the band’s success, the vocals are what make this album unique. Ryan’s singing has an unrefined rough edge, while Gary’s provides a cleaner compliment. When not harmonizing, the two will often take turns singing at different points in a song to great effect. “An Ivory Hand” and “Diamond Girl” show the best of what these unique vocals can provide.
The album is not flawless, however, as a couple of songs fall flat. Ryan’s voice for once fails to impress and overpowers the impressive lyrics of “Simple Story”. An awkward sounding chorus and mediocre music similarly make “Summer of Chances” a forgettable track.
Even with a few faltering songs, the album is overall a massive success and shows the best of what the band has to offer. British fans will be pleased that an already established band has provided, while hopefully For All My Sisters will earn the rightfully deserved attention of American audiences as well.
Voices Choices: Different Angle, An Ivory Hand