By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
But like the Pooh Sticks, Art Brut steal out of love, and their fandom goes far deeper than mere lingo theft: The first three songs on this new album are about music. More specifically, they’re about loving music, for better and worse.
To wit: Album opener “Pump Up the Volume” (!) is literally a monologue about trying to turn up the stereo to hear a song — while making out with someone. In other words, it’s about a really great song and/or a really not-great make-out. Either way, it’s romantic about only one thing: pop music. “Direct Hit” represents the converse: At a disco, a catchy dance tune brings two shy, young loners together.
Maybe the most romantic-musical tune is “Sounds of Summer,” about staying up all night with a friend (or lover?) making a mixed tape: “All through the night/They begin to take shape/From the crack of the vinyl/To the hiss of the tape . . ./Tapes that are full of the things we can’t say/To each other during the day . . .”
The irony is, as much as Argos lives for (and through) music, the album isn’t half as catchy as its predecessor. And, as anyone might have suspected from the start, Argos’ talk-sing delivery does get repetitive pretty fast. I know that’s his style: He’s so much the Everyman fan we all can relate to (chubby and whatnot), he’s not even a singer. Unfortunately, that’s a schtick with some severe built-in limitations. I still love Art Brut, though, in part because Argos (who seems to be their main lyricist) aspires to Morrissey-style wit, over and over and over. “People in Love” waxes pragmatic about a recent breakup (“People in love lie around and get fat/I didn’t want us to end up like that”), when likely as not, our narrator was the one getting dumped.
ART BRUT | It’s a Bit Complicated | Downtown