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Art Brut:: Bang Bang Rock and Roll (Album Review)

Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos wants to move to L.A. so he can drive his motorcycle up and down the Sunset Strip naked, drink Hennessey with Morrissey and hang out with Axl Rose. Maybe then Axl would get rid of those god awful dreadlocks and finish that record he’s been talking about for 10 years.

I began hearing about Art Brut last summer. After a share of mixed reviews, I finally found myself a copy of the record. Upon first listening, I was hooked. Sure, this was nothing revolutionary or life changing, but gosh darn it if it just wasn’t plain fun.

Eddie Argos doesn’t sing; he talks to you. And when he talks, he’s kind of a blabbermouth, but he makes it hard to say a bad thing about a man who claims to want to write a song that’s gonna make Isreal and Palestine get along. Only if it was that simple Eddie!

Named after French painter Jean Debuffet’s definition of outsider art – art by prisoners, loners, the mentally ill, and other marginalized people, and made without thought to imitation or presentation – Art Brut seem like outsiders, making simple, clever punk rock. With an obsession for Top of the Pops, NME and irony, Art Brut are storming the music world with no concern for prisoners. At every corner they seem like they are celebrating rock & roll and destroying it, both at the same time. The songs are catchy, especially “Emily Kane” where Argos actually counts down the years to the exact last second he saw his ex. Hell, I can’t run into my ex without needing a drink and a bail bondsman. If he isn’t having a good or bad weekend, you can find Argos screaming about lira, very fast scooters and his brother’s newfound love of rock & roll. Like I said, Art Brut is nothing new. They hammer out simple 3 chord songs, but they’re fun. It gives you hope that there’s more out there than just the run-of-the-mill commercial crap being shoved down our throats on the radio. The American release offers up 3 extra songs, making the album longer than the English release. Art Brut are not the best British band of the moment, but one worth checking out for sure. (Casey Schroeder)