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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Art Brut
Bang Bang Rock & Roll

Rating: 8/10 ?

July 31, 2006
Nostalgia is an incredibly powerful tool in rock music - just look at Bruce Springsteen. Art Brut lead singer Eddie Argos knows of this nostalgic vulnerability and exploits it at every opportunity. Whether pining for love lost ("Emily Kane") or remembering the glory of listening to rock & roll for the first time ("My Little Brother"), Argos knows exactly the right buttons to push to get his fans emotionally hooked. Argos is also lazy, which could be a weakness, but his voice and lyrics hold listeners' interest just long enough to have the band pick up the slack and pull off some incredible pop tunes.

For the uninitiated, Art Brut are somewhat of a Brit-punk version of Minneapolis' The Hold Steady. Argos' vocals are not sung so much as spoken or shouted. What is amazing is that although Argos can't carry a tune he is so emotive that listeners become instantly wrapped up his stories.

The highlight of Bang Bang Rock & Roll, the South-London quintet's debut full-length, is a track called "Good Weekend" in which Argos, bragging about his new girlfriend, screams: "I've seen her naked twice!/ I've seen her naked twice!" That moment really sums up the album, which is simple, powerful pop fronted by a man who basks in what most of us regard as life's mundane minutia of drinking, rocking and sexing. This is an album that, had it been around during my teen years, I'd have played incessantly because it mirrored the cornerstones of my life: inebriation, rock n' roll, and of course titties!

This re-release of Bang Bang Rock & Roll contains some extra tracks and is apparently much more fleshed out than the original version. That being said, at this point there is very little that anyone can add to the analysis of Art Brut that hasn't already been over-examined by hundreds of other music sites, blogs and magazines. With only one full album under their collective belt Art Brut have created/attained a level hype around their music that few independent bands ever achieve. I can't wait to hear what kind of debauchery Eddie Argos is up to now that he is successful, and if Bang Bang Rock & Roll is any indication I am sure he will let us all know on the next Art Brut album.

Reviewed by Jon Burke
A contributing writer and a Chicago resident who will not be goaded by LASís editor into revealing any more details about his potentially sordid affairs.

See other reviews by Jon Burke



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