The Cribs - Ignore the Ignorant

Rhian Daly 12/09/2009

Rating: 4.5/5

Much has been said about the title of the fourth Cribs installment (a reaction to the BNP's neo-nazi 'politics') and the group's newest member, Johnny Marr. Brilliantly, the song which shares its name with the whole album allows us to address both issues at once. Appearing halfway through the record, Ignore the Ignorant is striking for its Panic-esque guitar intro, so much so you could be forgiven for believing the Smiths classic (which the brothers Jarman plus Marr covered at the NME Awards last year) was about to kick in. Its not the only trace of Marr's former band though, as lead single Cheat on Me shares some of the same traits as those of twenty years ago. People seem almost incredulous, however, that this should be the case, and whilst its probable the foursome have tried to steer clear of that sound, it will inevitably be unavoidable on occasion. To expect Johnny Marr to simply drop his nature style of playing would be absurd and altogether disrespectful.

The lyrical matter, as you might expect from the track name, is despairing yet defiant, with Ryan Jarman sighing “To be proven right, I'd give my life” and later “It's just a shame you can't ignore the ignorant” - the key line that will silence anyone taking the title to suggest we should bury our heads in the sand.

Ignore the Ignorant harks back more to the Cribs' debut album days - less immediately anthemic than The New Fellas or Mens' Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever but still brimming with the same outstanding songwriting that placed the former trio firmly in the hearts of music lovers throughout the country. It could be their best album to date but it's hard to come to a conclusion on that one, given that all work proceeding it has been of such quality.

Back at the start of the record the opening double whammy of We Were Aborted and Cheat On Me sets the bar high, whilst a little later Hari Kari with Ryan's rolling r's proves to be a mid-record highlight. Emasculate Me sees twin Gary on lead vocal duties and benefits from his slightly brasher delivery, adding an underlying rage to what is at face value a fairly sedate song.

On the whole, Ignore the Ignorant is an accomplished collection of songs that show the Wakefield/Manchester quartet are still at the peak of British guitar music, just as they always have been. This time, though, it seems the wider world might actually be noticing that.

Release date: 07/09/2009