The New Fellas: The Cribs at the Roxy with ex-Smiths Guitarist Johnny Marr bring The punk back into
It is no big thing to be an underrated band.
You have your core of devoted fans, are honored by glowing reviews from music critics and you set yourself in a nice little niche. But when a member of a legendary iconic band decides to join your band because you rock, it can be a huge honor but also an awkward situation.
When cult band The Cribs hit the stage on Monday at the Roxy, they were welcomed with a grand roar from the audience. Three scruffy twenty-something brothers and an old-looking fellow named Johnny Marr of ‘80s groundbreaking band The Smiths.
The show began with a bang with the song "We Were Aborted" from their recent album "Ignore the Ignorant." Singers Gary and Ryan Jarman ferociously and hurriedly finished immediately going into the fan favorite "Hey Scenesters!" where everyone at one point sang along with the undeniably catchy chorus.
This band comes alive when on stage. Their albums are lo-fi, gritty songs about unconformity and love while making fun of hipsters and scenesters. Hearing them live, their songs take on a life of their own, with singer Ryan Jarman giving it all he's got by screaming into the microphone. His voice is distinctly the same as on the albums, feeling the song and also singing it quickly because of the energy the audience moshpits give which are the perfect activity while listening to their songs. When "Our Bovine Public" was played, the hard core fans went into a riot. This insanely wonderful punk song which goes at 280 beats per minute made some people in the crowd look like they were having seizures when in reality they were just trying to dance to the song.
From "What about Me" from their early days, to "Mirror Kissers" to "Hari Kari," the band gave 100% of their time and skills, never sounding phony for a moment. Gary Jarman plucked that bass and his singing on the cheery "Emasculate Me" and the sad "Save Your Secrets" was faultless. Ross Jarman's drumming was excellent, I could write a thousand sonnets on the perfection of his drumming. In show of his enthusiasm and energy, at times he would stand on his drum kit and try jumping off of it.
"Where are the old school Cribs fans?" said Ryan Jarman to the audience as they gave a roaring response before going into the hypnotically sounding "Direction," a gesture of love between band and fan.
It may be surprising for some and a bit sad for many that this incredibly talented band, with a fantastic catalogue of original music, have none of their songs on the radio, and have had none of their songs in TV and Film ads or trailers. They have never had their music videos shown on TV and yet somehow generic "rock stars" that shall remain nameless have intense radio play and have their music videos shown when they are only there because of what they look like, a product of some sort. But I digress.
Before going into what would be their last song, Ryan Jarman began singing parts of The Doors' s "The End" before going into "City of Bugs."
As the band left, I noticed they had only played for an hour. Just an hour but it felt as if they had gone through so many songs, at least more than 20 and yet it was sadly over.
The show was brilliant with each Jarman brother putting in their part and making it memorable as if it was the last show they would ever play live. As for Johnny Marr, he just stood there, singing the chorus, playing his guitar quietly, not really contributing to the commotion of the show. He was trying to be a wallflower. You cannot be in a band that created songs like "Meat is Murder" and "How Soon is Now" and be a wallflower. It's like Bill Clinton joining U2. Singing in the chorus, playing the bass, it sounds like an awesome thought but a strange awesome thought. Marr's influence definitely did bring the old people to the show, wanting to know what this "new" band was about.
I guess I don't want the thunder being stolen from the Jarman boys who need as much recognition as possible.
So if you want to be a nonconformist, listen to these guys. Particularly their third album "Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever" which is exceptionally good and yet no one on this side of the world knows of it.