Monday, May 11, 2009

Art Brut - Art Brut vs. Satan

Rating: 4.0
Released: May 12, 2009

To quote Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand, who so clearly influenced Art Brut, "You could have it so much better."

British pop act Art Brut made a name for itself in recent years making the kind of tongue-in-cheek disco rock that, in theory, would make Pulp proud.

Whether they've lived up to that expectation or not is another thing.

Frontman Eddie Argos shoots for the singspeak wit and presence of vet Jarvis Cocker, but on Art Brut's latest, Art Brut vs. Satan, he just sounds oddly tuneless.

The propulsive tracks and slashing angular guitars are, no surprise, like the heaviest tracks from an Artic Monkeys or Bloc Party album, but without the tight pop sensibility.

"Bring me tea/bring me coffee/I was up all night/I've been making mistakes/I'm hiding it well but I don't feel great," Argos sings on first single "Alcoholics Unanimous," which sounds like an anthem for unimaginative pub crawlers.

Other tracks like "DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake" make you wonder if Art Brut is running out of things to say.

"DC Comics and chocolate milkshake/some things will always be great ... even though I'm 28," Argos rants on the grating chorus.

The song is funny, but it sticks like a song in an ad. Which is to say, it's annoying.

Some tunes fare better than others.

Pixies mastermind and producer Frank Black predictably brings the guitars and it works sometimes, like on slash and jab rocker "Demons Out!"

"The record buying public shouldn't be voting," Argos sings to the demon idiots in the room.

It's likely someone will find love in Argos' cockney jabbering, but his voice, which tends to make all Art Brut songs sound identical, could turn just as many people off.

"How am I supposed to sleep at night/when nobody likes the music I write," Argos bemoans during "Demons Out!"

Um, have you tried sleeping pills?


No comments: