Fast forward three years and Night Network is as fresh, cathartic and vital as anything they’ve ever put out. There’s no weariness, no bitterness, just a clear desire to get back to doing what they do best - that unique blend of bittersweet melody, brutal lyrical honesty and riffs for days. The turning point came at the 11th hour, in the late summer of 2018. The Cribs had been invited to support Foo Fighters at Manchester's Etihad Stadium, in what could very well have been the band's last hurrah. Enter the brothers’ knight in shining armour, and childhood hero, Dave Grohl. Hanging out backstage, chatting over a few post-show drinks, The Cribs confided their recent struggles to their new friend. “Dave was just like, ‘Forget about all that business stuff, just come out to LA and make a record at our studio’ - Dave made that offer to us,” Ryan recalls. Their newfound autonomy extended to the recording process itself - this is the first album to be entirely self-produced by the band. Engineered by James Brown (Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys) and mixed by frequent Cribs collaborator John O’Mahony (who also worked on Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever and For All My Sisters) the record took shape over two weeks in LA, plus an extra week of overdubs at Halfling Studios in Portland. Mercifully, it is not a poor-me album about the ills of the industry. No, they deal with that on the first track, a slice of surf-ready sunshine pop with gorgeous harmonies called ‘Goodbye’. “That was our way of saying ‘goodbye’ to that period of our lives. Let’s move on,” says Ross.
In a typically downplayed way, the band have honed in on what’s so special about The Cribs: really bloody good songs. Fans might well think this is their best album in a decade. The Cribs are romantics and they’re realists and the balance, for a hot minute, nearly tipped in the favour of the latter. But now they return empowered, beholden to no one, on the greatest form and still screaming in suburbia.
Released: November 2020
Label: Sonic Blew/PIAS
2. Running Into You
3. Screaming In Suburbia
4. Never Thought I’d Feel Again
5. Deep Infatuation
6. I Don’t Know Who I Am (ft Lee Ranaldo)
7. She’s My Style
8. Under The Bus Station Clock
9. The Weather Speaks Your Name
10. Siren Sing-Along
11. Earl & Duke
12. In The Neon Night