Wednesday, May 06, 2009


'Art Brut vs. Satan'

Have you ever wondered what the Pixies would sound like if they were fronted by Shaun Ryder instead of Black Francis? Me neither, but thanks to the UK's Art Brut...I do now and, thankfully, I like it. Fittingly, after their last tour, the band went to Portland, OR, in late 2008 to record songs with Frank Black as producer. The sessions took just two weeks, and their third album, 'Art Brut vs. Satan', hit the ground running a couple of weeks ago. It's been in regular rotation here at the AMBFAD lab and I had to give it a review (late or not).

'Art Brut vs. Satan' is a raw, semi-freewheeling and extremely fun listen. The band's indie-punk ode to no-frills recording, 'Slap Dash for No Cash', captures the ethos of how this album was made and sounds perfectly. Calling out Brian Eno on said track, frontman Eddie Argos issues a manifesto for the records he likes and, obviously, likes to record as well. That said, the album is actually pretty fact, so tight and/or economical, it's the complete antithesis to bodies of work more over-produced.

While the band has great chops musically, the real draw here is Argos' lyrics and delivery. Oft snotty and borderline adolescent, he still manages to sneak in some really clever stuff. The line 'I fought the floor and the floor won' from the almost funky attempted recollection of a night out in 'Mysterious Bruises' is pure gold. Throw in a tale of arrested development that hits kind of close to home in 'DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake', a tuneful rediscovery of a favorite old/new band in 'The Replacements' and the cheeky 'Alcoholics Unanimous'...I dare you to not have fun listening to this disc.

Like I said earlier, 'Art Brut vs. Satan' has been out for a few weeks and should be readily available wherever you prefer to nab your music. If you are looking for a great 'Summer Album' to enjoy while you imbibe adult beverages and/or grill up animal flesh...this'll do it. Your neighbors may hate you afterwards, but who needs 'em. If you like your neighbors, maybe you should test the waters w/ a sample in the AMBFAD jukebox. Whee!

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