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CD Review: The Cribs

Ignore the Ignorant (Warner Bros.)

British rockers the Cribs loaded 2007's Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever with razorblade vocals and guitars. On this follow-up, they get a little poppier and lot moodier, thanks to ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, who joined the three Jarman brothers last year. There's still considerable crunch to songs like "We Were Aborted" and "Emasculate Me," but the Cribs' post-punk rage gives way to more tuneful moments on Ignore the Ignorant. Gary Jarman still tears at his larynx during the band's big choruses (see "Cheat on Me"), and the songs still tend to do that quiet-loud thing. But Marr's subtle jangle and sharp pop sense lead the Cribs to some grander, Smiths-like soundscapes this time around — which often are more cluttered than they need to be. But as the six-minute "City of Bugs" slowly builds to its rousing finish, it's an awesome upgrade. — Michael Gallucci

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