catch-up: The Cribs
The Cribs, The Cribs - Imagine The Strokes, only with three members, British, and frankly less talented, but compensating by being far more amiable. Bookended by songs which might throw you off the scent - "The Watch Trick" opens with a carnival-esque organ in waltz-time, and 5-minutes-plus closer "Third Outing" goes garage - The Cribs otherwise stick to all the slick, one note at a time guitar-lines and basic chords you could ask for (they've also got lo-fi recording down). They're pretty good at it though - good enough for the resemblance not to be distracting or annoying - and their vocals are far less detached. On some songs they form their own, distinctly interesting persona - like on "Learning How To Fight," when they blurt out "You took me out to breakfast!" The Strokes just get all sad and detached and wonder if this is it, or command you to meet them in the bathroom, but the Cribs aren't cool enough to be that alienated, which is probably a good thing (made nowhere clearer than on "Things You Should Be Knowing," where our lovestruck hero meets a girl: "You were drunk and unbelievably cool." Aww!). None of it is bad, and some of it is almost great.