Recorded with Steve Albini in his Chicago Electrical Audio studio, 24-7 Rock Star Shit is the quickest thing The Cribs have ever recorded – done and dusted in five days – yet has also been six years in the making. The album's origins lie back in 2011, when the three Jarman brothers were making In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull. After recording the bulk of the album with producer Dave Fridmann in upstate New York, they flew straight to Electrical Audio and laid down four tracks for possible inclusion on ...Brazen Bull.
But the songs had such a spirit and sound of their own that they were laid aside for a rainy day. When it came time for the next album, there was a plan to make two LPs to represent two distinct strands of their work: a pop record and a punk record, one polished and melodic, the other raw and underworked. Yet the former took precedence, and became 2015's For All My Sisters. The punk album – hinted at in the press – instead became a thing of fan myth.
After touring wrapped around For All My Sisters, the band made it their mission to complete the punk album, and convened on Gary's house in Portland, OR, determined to keep that pop side in check. And in November 2016, exactly five years after that first visit, they re-entered Electrical Audio with the intention of recording another four songs, which soon became six. Three days later, they left with an album, all the songs captured as-live and straight to tape, onto 16 tracks. The resulting recordings, Ryan says, are "really immediate, really raw and it really represents where we are at this point, and that's all I really want from a record. Something that's stripped-back and unsterilized. I miss that in what's in vogue today, and I'm sure other people do."
Fittingly, it's a fast release for an album that throbs with immediacy, from "Give Good Time's" squeal of feedback to the yelped vocals and sense of paranoid urgency on "Year Of Hate." But it's not all about going full throttle: "In Your Palace" is as melodic as anything the band have done, and "Sticks Not Twigs," one of the last tracks written for 24-7 Rock Star Shit, is an acoustic track. It means that, though the fans have long had an inkling about The Cribs' mythical punk album, it's a safe bet that the finished thing will still surprise.
A new era for The Cribs, then. An album that's as fresh as can be, as few steps as possible between writing sessions in Ross's Wakefield garage and your ears.