Thursday, June 11, 2009

Art Brut vs Satan still pledges allegiance to Britpop, 2005 edition: post-punk infected guitars, a high degree of lyrical literacy. Often the music can't match the lyrics, and a couple of times neither works at all. A forgotten minor band called The Auteurs did this kind of middle-class observation (especially in Now I'm a Cowboy) with more finesse and a rage suppressed enough to qualify as homicidal. But on "The Passenger" and "The Replacements," Eddie Argos' voice matches the dry wit of the guitars and the unsentimental bits of secondhand observation (I still get the sense that he read about these memories rather than experienced them). A British band writing smartly about certain Minneapolis avatars of shamble-punk is certainly preferable to a dismissal of U2 and Eno, however welcome.

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