The Cribs were originally so passionate and earnest about their rock that they injured themselves during live shows. While seeing them open for Death Cab for Cutie I saw the lead singer rush back to his microphone stand, overshoot the entry and split his lip wide open on the microphone. He didn't flinch and continued the set with an increasingly bloody face. It was exactly what they were about.
That sort of passion is missing from their new effort "Ignore the Ignorant." The basis of their sound is the same, as the jangly guitar and urgent basslines remain, but there's a melodic content and mood that is completely different this time around. The majority of these tracks (and their melodies) are forgettable, and the ones that stick out only do so because they are so different than previous efforts.
"City of Bugs" is long, drawn-out and repetitive, all adjectives that wouldn't have fit to any of the Cribs' previous work. "Cheat on Me" brooks no playfulness, relying instead on desperation and rage to carry the song. "We Share the Same Skies," the single from this effort, just doesn't have the punch of former stand-outs like "Mirror Kissers."
Perhaps it's wrong to hold them to their past standard. People do change, after all. But even if I had to put this in no context whatsoever, I'd say that "Ignore the Ignorant" is a downer and not a very entertaining one at that.