CD Review: Art Brut
|It's a Bit Complicated Downtown |
Music ••• Sound ••••
Or you can do like Eddie: take your chances and form a band. This U.K. quintet replaced a guitarist between albums, but that hasn't affected their punkish attack. Ian Catskilkin and Jasper Future crank out staccato riffs and cathartic power chords with solid assurance, recycling Wire in much the same tradition as the Rolling Stones reworking Chuck Berry. The sound is brawny without excess, and the tracks are tight and crisp, with no song lingering to 4 minutes.
Argos never "sings." As with the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, his two-note range is strictly for rambling on. Which gives him plenty of room to crack wise: "People in love lie around and get fat / I didn't want us to end up like that." So when the music's over, like a good rock disciple, Argos turns out the lights. But he's a "Jealous Guy" who admits, "I can't sleep because I've started to question / Whether your ex-boyfriends let you get this much restin'." Back that with his band's nervous tension, and it's as if Woody Allen woke up one morning and found himself an insecure British punk leading a band, looking for the meaning of life on the inner sleeve of a Buzzcocks album. He won't find any answers, but he'll nick a few cool riffs in the meantime.