English-German outfit Art Brut take their name from a little-used alternate term for outsider art. It’s an appropriate moniker — Art Brut may well have formed in a vacuum, because nobody else sounds quite like them.
To call Art Brut indie rock would be, if not a mistake, then at least inadequate. It’s true that the band’s sound recalls the the crusty low-fi of garage rock and the driving New Wave-redux rhythms of fellow British invaders Franz Ferdinand and Futureheads. But lead throat Eddie Argos‘s thickly English howls are culled straight from vintage punk (even his comedic asides recall the satire of the Stooges or the Dead Milkmen) adding an anarchic, loopily hilarious spirit to a genre often known for its self-seriousness. The band capably complements this off-kilter approach with catchy dance-rock grooves, spiced with the kind of stylistic curveballs that Weezer once offered.
Ultimately it’s Argos himself who forms Art Brut‘s make-or-break proposition. His lyrics, like the better brand of stand-up comedy, are both universal observations and private revelations — albeit couched in non-sequiteur rambling and energetic catchphrase slinging. Argos’s stream-of-lyricism style spans everything from terrible sex to music industry woes to DC Comics and chocolate milkshakes, at least in the song of that name.
At times Art Brut resemble nothing so much as Bloc Party being joyfully waled upon with a cricket bat by Wesley Willis. It’s an engaging and often gut-busting balance of the amusingly dumb, the archly self-aware, and the painfully sincere.
Supporting the release of their fourth album Brilliant! Tragic!, Art Brut has been on a North American junket, and they’re hitting up Montreal this Saturday (June 18th) at one of our favourite venues, Il Motore, brought to you by Greenland, BSTB & Evenko. You are cordially invited to come shake your ass — and maybe laugh it right off.
Samedi 18 juin(Greenland, BSTB & Evenko présentent)
ART BRUT + INVITÉ
IL MOTORE – 179 JEAN-TALON O.
15$ + f.s. à l’avance et 16.50$ + f.s. à la porte
Billets en vente chez CHEAP THRILLS et sur le réseau ADMISSION.