Single Review: The Cribs – Leather Jacket Love Song

By on Wednesday, 16th January 2013 at 3:00 pm

Words by Edward Chapman

Some might say six-string icon Johnny Marr‘s involvement in anything gives it the automatic seal of cool approval but this is actually fair comment when it comes to the Cribs‘ ‘Leather Jacket Love Song’. A Clash/Libertines sawing guitar riff opening (which has ex-Smith Johnny’s fingerprints all over it) makes you keen to hear more of this ‘lost track’ and as always, chopped fringe vocalist Ryan Jarman is spot on with his spat-out vocals, just as he is here with plenty of memorable “oohs” and”’ahhhs” and hints at doo-wop that don’t sound old hat.

It’s a good old proper tune and chucks a lot at the ear, but a lot hits home nicely. Recorded in early 2010, it’s the last song the Jarman brothers made with Mr. Marr on guitar and it hasn’t seen daylight until now, though it has been played live once or twice. It’s a taster from the Cribs’ forthcoming singles collection ‘Payola’, which marks the band’s 10th anniversary.

With a song this good and such an instant earworm, it does beg the question why was this unreleased until now and just what other gems are there in the Cribs’ crypt? The jarring discordant ending may hold the (off) key to answering this, as it’s a bit abrupt and spoils things. – What was wrong with a fade-out, guys? But before we get too picky and before the finale, the song is pleasantly littered with youthful regrets. The intriguing song title is a clever nod to Ryan’s penchant for wearing such attire and yes, the Cribs remain among the best at doing that ‘indie rock thing’.


‘Leather Jacket Love Song’, the new release from Wakefield trio the Cribs, will be released on the 25th of February on Wichita Recordings, as part of new singles compilation ‘Payola’. A deluxe version with an additional 18 tracks of B-sides and rarities will also be available.


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2 Responses

8:55 am
17th January 2013

At the beginning of the review I was thinking, “I thought Johnny Marr left the Cribs ages ago,” bu of course it’s all explained later in the text. Unusual choice for lead-off single as I gather no more songs on the album feature J Marr? Good review anyway.

2:47 pm
17th January 2013

TBH I was kind of taken aback too that they’d chosen one they did with Marr, since didn’t they want to go forward WITHOUT his ghost? Still, I guess if there is something strong that you are proud of in your back catalogue that are you just itching to get out, then you might say to hell with it with past history?

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