10 years of Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever

Ahead of a massive show at Liverpool Sound City, Henry Lewis takes a retrospective look at the The Cribs indie classic, 10 years since its release.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 28th Apr 2017.
Originally published: 26th Apr 2017

Image: The Cribs

It's almost strange to think that there was a time in the modern British pop charts where indie rock was totally prevalent, with guitar wielding acts regularly securing top 40 or even top 20 singles.

What started with the Strokes over in New York in 2001 soon developed into anglicised versions such as The Libertines and Razorlight, who both paved the way for the indie influx that was yet to come, with the likes of The Kooks, Arctic Monkeys, The Pigeon Detectives and more all a direct product of the guitar spanking antics that had begun to capture England's hearts and minds.

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Amongst all of these were a similar, but altogether different, act in The Cribs whose far more DIY approach, sound and ethos saw them championed as underdogs, with an opening duo of albums that shunned 'the scene' and all the 'clued up arseholes' that surrounded it.

By 2007, UK indie had well and truly reached its peak. In a year where Arctic Monkeys headlined Glastonbury and Radio 1's Live Lounge double disc was almost entirely bands, the Wakefield trio released their magnum opus.

The band launched into album three with a snarling attack on their plastic peers with a hollering chorus of "You'd never exist if you wasn't generic, you have to impress our bovine public" a nod to a mindset that they possessed from the start. The scrappy, punky chaos demonstrated on the first two albums was to live on in other tracks like 'Major's Titling Victory', however for the most part, the polished riffs and guitar chimes echoed what was yet to come, particularly when you listen to the band's latest release For All My Sisters.

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With Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos on production duties, the group set about creating a record full of punchy guitar licks, with lead single 'Men's Needs' proving the most successful. The track immediately shot them into the public's conscious, with reviews of the top 20 single stating that it lifted them "from cult favourites to one of Britain's best loved bands".

The formula of stinging guitar lines married with Gary and Ryan's hollering vocals on each and every huge chorus is replicated in the likes of 'I'm A Realist', 'Girls Like Mystery' and 'Moving Pictures', proving to be a deadly force. 

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Arguably the gem in the crown of this record is fan favourite 'Be Safe', a genuinely goosebump inducing, almost six minute epic which features a chilling monlogue  from Sonic Youth singer Lee Ranaldo and THAT hollering chorus of "I know a place we can go, where you'll fall in love so hard that you'll wish you were dead"

Ultimately, the quality of songwriting and seemingly endless bank of riffs at Ryan Jarman's disposal is why the band haven't fallen by the wayside, like many of their contemporaries. They now have six studios albums under their belt, with the album that followed this one featuring the talents of Johnny Marr no less, however this year they bring Men's Needs, Women's Needs Whatever... to the stage in full.

One of these shows will take place at Liverpool Sound City, which also celebrates its 10th birthday this year, where the Cribs are set for a huge main stage show on Sunday 28th May.

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