The Cribs' fifth album couldn't be more 90s if it styled its hair into curtains, donned a Global Hypercolor T-shirt and bought itself a ticket to Lilith Fair. In the Belly … is a well-executed homage to lo-fi slacker rock, to the extent that it uses two producers – Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, Sleater-Kinney) and Steve Albini (Nirvana, Breeders) – synonymous with that era. It suits them, particularly when they adorn the feedback and squalling riffs with singalong melody, as they do on the raucous Chi-Town. I Should Have Helped, meanwhile, is a fuzzy, K Records-style lo-fi ballad that knows its charm lies in its brevity, and Back to the Bolthole is an impressively heavy sludgeathon – but it's all a little too faithful to its template to be truly arresting.
The Cribs: In The Belly of the Brazen Bull – review
Rebecca Nicholson is a columnist for the Observer and the Guardian