Brand new album from London alt-rockers Art Brut. Produced by Dan Swift famed for his work with Futureheads,Kasabien and Snow Patrol.
Art Brut's sophomore effort works the same ironic, are-they-joking vibe that made 2005s Bang Bang Rock & Roll
such a hoot. Eddie Argoss lyrics still sound tossed off the top of his clever head, like he looked around the room and wrote what he saw on a dinner napkin. Whether hes choosing between kissing a girl and turning up the stereo (Pump Up the Volume) or contemplating his own vanity on Nag Nag Nag Nag (wet trousers in the washing machine/ but Id rather be damp than seen in jeans), the words are always the best part of the song. The music, meanwhile, is grand and silly, filled with brash Brit-pop tropes and chunky, Weezer-size guitar riffs.
But the band hasnt found a way around their central problem: The songs lack variety. It wasnt such an issue on their debut because the sample was so limited, but now we know too well what to expect. Their particular formula makes it tough; Argoss spoken, thickly accented delivery doesnt exactly have a vast range of expression, and their punk-influenced emphasis on simplicity limits what they can do dynamically. Only two records in and despite their catchy tunes and obvious talents, theyre starting to sound tired. Can they find a way to be something more than just a particularly bright flash in the indie-pop music pan? It remains to be seen, but for now Ill enjoy Its a Bit Complicateds smarty-pants snark--for at least another week or so. --Matthew Cooke