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The Cribs – Payola

Lisa Bentley


For a decade Wakefield family triptych have been entertaining the crowds with their unique form of dirty distorted guitar playing and epoch defining lyrical prowess. That band is none other than The Cribs.

Ok, admittedly when a band that you love releases a greatest hits album – which is essentially what Payola is – you do face a mixture of emotions; mainly oh dear are the band calling it quits or even worse we fall under a spell of disdain that our musical heroes have sold out to the mighty buck, complying to the five album plus greatest hits record contract set by the label. However, whilst the reasoning for this release has not yet been revealed as anything more sinister than a collection of truly great songs let us just appreciate the past 10 years of the brothers Jarman career.

Payola features songs from the bands four previous releases, the best to be found on the The Cribs; The New Fellas; Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever; Ignore the Ignorant and In the Belly of the Brazen Bull. What is rather special about this compilation is that you do hear a clear and distinct difference from their earlier albums whose garage/guerrilla style recordings sound so epic and filthy in comparison to the much more cleaner and stylistically produced latter albums (from the Alex Kapranos produced Men’s Need’s, Woman’s Needs, Whatever) onwards.

The development of the band is clearly showcased in this parity of earlier and later tracks however the ethos of great music and snappy lyrics are still present and haven’t been dulled by the passing of time and essentially the growing up of the band.

What is a shame is that for those who are looking for a quick introduction to The Cribs will miss out on some truly amazing tracks by reaching for the compilation as the likes of Hello? Oh…, It Was Only Love and You’re Gonna Lose Us are all featured on earlier records. Overall though if there is a band in the UK who deserve to celebrate their accomplishments and are one of the most hardworking bands around then that accolade deservedly goes to The Cribs.


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