Song of the day – 351: Art Brut (a mini-review)
I was psyched.
I haven’t heard Art Brut since their original demos (the post-modernist ‘Formed A Band’, ‘Modern Art’) in 2003. I liked those demos a lot, even covered one before it was released, liked the sardonic bent of their sardonic music – but figured, why spoil a good thing? All that needs to be said has been said. Besides, no one bothered sending me their first three albums.
I next encountered Eddie Argus in 2010 (last year, folks!) when he teamed up with Brody from The Distillers or someone to form Everybody Was In The French Resistance… Now! Loved the music, and the sardonic bent of the sardonic lyrics. Had no idea who the band featured, writing:
Oh, this is just wonderful, pure el Records – Bad Dream Fancy Dress, Louis Phillippe, Songs For The Jet Set.
My six-year-old laptop is freezing every few seconds, the music is crackly and distorted, but I just had to play this album twice through this morning. This particular song, ‘G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N. (You Know I’ve Got A)’, features members of Art Brut and The Blood Arm singing a reply song to Avril Lavigne – but don’t let that put you off. I’ve only just stumbled across that knowledge, and was perfectly happy in my ignorance, imagining them perhaps as a bunch of kids who grew up listening to Pulp and Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia, glorying in the new-found freedom that only spoken word accompanied by super-melodic harmonies can bring.
The album remained a firm favourite. It stuck around for ages. By accident, I’d become a bit of a fan of Mr Argos’ sardonic groove.
So I was psyched. Someone had sent me a download of the fourth Art Brut album, Brilliant! Tragic! Finally I’d be able to judge for myself whether the past eight years of thinking that I was a sleeper fan (NOT Sleeper fan) of Art Brut was justified. The car journey between here and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary seemed a prime opportunity to give it my all: just me and Daniel (nearly two) sharing a mid-Saturday afternoon. So I readied myself to press play, imagining how it was going to be everything I love about music: sarcastic, sardonic, misanthropic, small-minded, abrasive, repetitive, distorted, annoying, spasmodic, smart, witty, spiteful, scouring … and that would just be the guitars on the opening track ‘Axl Rose’. The title seemed a trifle trite to me, but hey! Folk need something to latch onto.
The sentiments, the emotion, the lack of decorum, the pathetic recollections of ‘Martin Kemp Welch Five-A-Side Football Rules!’ … here was something I would be able to relate to. A sardonic band in the sardonic tradition of Yeah Yeah Noh, I, Ludicrous and the Godfuckingalmighty Nightingales – that folk actually like?! What’s up with that? I was psyched. Some sweet soul brother music to tide me through my Saturday. I flicked the windows down a few inches more, savouring the forest breeze, the wetness upon the air, and settled in to have a listen …
… and Daniel started singing ‘Knick-Knack PaddyWhack’.
I’ve waited eight years already. I guess I can wait a few more days.