This is a review of "Hey Scenesters!" recorded by The Cribs. The review was written by Tom Goodhand in 2005.
Witchita have been grooming Bloc Party, making them into everyone’s favourite indie band. While this has been going on, unbeknown to most of the indie community, another of Witchita’s bands, The Cribs have been recording some songs with the legend that is Edwyn Collins. ‘Hey Scenesters’ is the first of these songs to be launched upon the world, and blimey, it ain’t half good.
It all starts a bit messily, Gary’s bass plods along, Ryan’s guitar feeds back, and then the song starts, and it gets messier still. Glorious. The Cribs are an indie band in the good old fashioned way. Someone (well NME writer David Quantick to be precise) once wrote “cheap and nasty is better than expensive and nice”. One can’t help but assume that The Cribs live by this mantra. The guitars happily sway off kilter, when Ryan and Gary simultaneously yelp “Hey scenesters! Hey! Hey! Scenesters!” they’re not exactly in tune with each other. So what happens - do we reach for the ear plugs, or do we start screaming along in a key of our own? We join in, don’t we?
Sometimes listening to a gloriously produced sonic masterpiece can be invigorating, nay, enlightening (try Smile) for every other occasion, there’s pure unadulterated noise. It’s always going to be more fun shouting along to this terrace chant of a chorus than trying to join in with the harmonies of ‘Good Vibrations’. The Cribs are here for a reason, to make gloriously shambolic pop songs that won’t leave your head, won’t let you just sit and smile to yourself but make you want to fling away your chair and run and jump around while smashing up your guitar in sheer glee. What’s not to love?
P.S. if you just wait to hear this on the album you’ll miss the inspired Rollercoaster Project remix of ‘Another Number’ that makes the b-side. Don’t do this. It sounds like someone has transplanted The Cribs into a kids tv-show and then added a minimal drum machine underneath. Be prepared to chuckle.