The heavy force of The Cribs’ latest album is immediate. The opener, “Give Good Time,” crashes into you with that certain exhilaration that only a distorted, super-fuzz bass riff can render, supplementing a gesyering vocal choruses that demand soul-wringing wails over the stormy, cymbal-smashing drum fills. We are in The Cribs territory, we are also in Steve Albini territory! And we’re about to be in Third Man Records territory: The Cribs perform at Third Man Records on Saturday, doors open at 7:30PM. (See Facebook event for RSVP and ticket information).

This northern England indie-rock trio returned-to-form, as it were, with the rawness of their latest album, 24-7 Rock Star Shit, recorded with Steve Albini (of The Pixies, Jesus Lizard, Nirvana). It evokes a sound and energy that suggests it was unleashed, rather than captured or recorded. And it could feel time-warpy, because there are unabashed head-banging moments, jet-engine feedback, pillar sledging kick-drums and snares, and angsty vocalizations of lyrics that toe the line between vicious and vulnerable. It’s a rock record that might feel… of an era.

At this point I am eager to share my favorite track with you. Only having just picked this record up a week ago though, I’m admittedly late to this party. (It was released in July 2017). Lo and behold, I found the track below, “In Your Palace, that” I was most magnetized to was already presented as a single with this video:

Did you swim through it, too? Through the gnarly distortion swamp of those last 30 seconds? Let me go back to that time-warpy comment- I feel we’re nearing a time for that mobius-strip of rock music to wind its way back round again. Because The Cribs were formed back in 2002; the heady days of characteristically disheveled and detached punk-rock revivals that groups like The Libertines and The Strokes were cooking up. And The Cribs would get lumped into that category for their first few breakout years. But their sound always had something more feral, albeit enticingly feral, going on, in comparison to those outfits.

Just as the band was coming into their own, with Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever (2007, Warner Bros.,) the waves tied away from the rock shores and crested towards eletronica, disco-revivalist sequenced beats, chill ambient swooners and the rise of trap music. 24-7 Rock Shit sounds like it could be from 2007, or from 1997, or even 1987, and still mostly evades any sense that its deriving from the same re-packager/revivalist tract that now-fizzled outfits (like Libertines) from 2002 were treading, makes this record such a primal epiphany.

That’s what’s purifying about those huge (Albini-esque) guitar walls crashing in and those throaty vocals howls; that’s what’s reinvigorating about its aggressive set-piecing for forthright lyrics, is that it isn’t nostalgic, so much as it is a voluminous reminder of what that early 2000s neo-punk sound could have organically evolved into…, had it not been packaged as a trend.

This is the sound of a band just… still doing their thing! Attendees get to see The Cribs perform live at Third Man Records, even though they are not signed to Jack White’s label.

We all feel very strongly about presenting live events for artists and performers that aren’t actually (on the label),” said Dave Buick, a key component at Third Man, curating shows at the retail/record-pressing plant on West Canfield. “Whether it’s a high school poetry workshop, or a Bulgarian bagpipe group; a new touring artist, or a free afternoon performance by a legend like Pere Ubu! Anything we do is something we totally believe in…”

And,” Buick said, “we all love being able to present these events in a unique and intimate setting for both the performers and the audience.”

And Third Man is certainly that. There is a substantial performance stage and sound system, but it is also a record store, novelties lounge, and record pressing plant, all-in-one. With more shows like The Cribs concert on the horizon, I think you can start, if you haven’t already, to begin to consider this multi-faceted retail space as a veritable venue onto itself.

Another local platform for the performing arts; be it for Third Man Record-signees, or just The Cribs.

For more information:

Saturday, September 16, Doors at 7:30pm, Show at 8:30pm.

This show is ALL AGES

Tickets purchased online can be picked up at will call anytime after the doors open at 7:30 pm the day of the show.

Featured Photography credit: Steve Gullick