Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever – The Cribs

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Made up of three Yorkshire, England brothers – twins Ryan (vocals, guitar) and Gary (vocals, bass) and younger brother Ross on drums – The Cribs are proud to say they stayed punk rock when their Brit peers went Brit-pop. Problem is, they should’ve grown up.

Their most radio-friendly album to date, the Alex Kapranos (of Franz Ferdinand)- produced Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever marks the band’s return to recording from a two year hiatus. With a self-titled debut in 2004 and UK top-30 chart hit-maker “The New Fellas” released the following year, The Cribs have found a following amidst a certain bottle-breaking, mosh-pitting, shout-aloud crowd on both sides of the Atlantic. Yes, they still exist.

The songs on Whatever sound like they ought to close credits on the latest incarnation of The O.C., so I guess the band’s achieved the pop sensibility they were seeking. The lyrics don’t evolve past the maturity level of the album’s Valley-girl title, with such heartbreaking lines as “I can’t find time for her…because of bad TV” on “Major’s Titling Victory,” and on “I’m A Realist”: “I’m a realist. I’m a romantic. I’m an indecisive piece of shit. That’s about it…”

That really is about it, as the rest of the album offers little in the way of depth, preferring instead to stick with good ‘ol criticisms and complaints: Britain’s population of drunks on “Our Bovine Public,” girls on “Girls Like Mystery” and girls again on “Men’s Needs” – “…girls’ needs just don’t agree with Man’s needs.” Profound, dude.