Gang of Four
The Tough Alliance
Death Cab for Cutie
Beatles vs. Stones
ok, what do all of these bands have in common? they are all mentioned in pitchfork's review of the new Art Brut record, "Art Brut v. Satan" which i'm fairly confident will suck just as much as everything they've ever put out.
the record recieves a 7.7 rating, while drawing the critic's attention to no less than 26 bands whose records he isn't reviewing. i've read tepid reviews of tepid records where the critic has actually talked about the music. for, like, the whole thing. imagine that!
in the few parts when he's not dropping names, you kind of wish he would. "It's not irony, it's self-aware sincerity."
"The beautiful people and their sycophants will always outnumber lovable losers. But this is a record I like."
and my personal favorite...: "Not that Satan gives a damn about songs that communicate aspects of everyday life with clarity and human charm."
check it, "human charm". way better for music than "horse charm". even better is the idea that the album "communicates aspects of everyday life"; which aspects are being communicated really doesn't seem to matter. so long as the songs aren't challenging to figure out ("clarity"), and are delivered with the Supreme Ironic Pose of the Decade ("self-aware sincerity").
we are told that Art Brut's 2005 piece of shit full-length "Bang Bang Rock & Roll" is "the closest our decade has come to The Modern Lovers", and i suppose that's meant as praise. putting aside the fact that the album was obviously, stunningly awful, isn't it a little wierd that this guy (Marc Hogan), who seems to like this band very much, can't find much of anything to say about what the record sounds like? all he can talk about are other bands that he likes, and a few that he doesn't. are the sounds on this album really that forgettable? that they receed into the background while making you wish you were listening to iggy pop? IS THAT GOOD?!?!
we are left to assume that Art Brut is now filling the middle ground between the Mountain Goats, Gang of Four, Velvet Underground, U2, and Vampire Weekend. i admit, i've often had mad visions of fusing all of those styles together, but it's kind of like that scene in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, where the fat guy orders the whole menu. the waiter asks, "would you like each dish individually, or mixed up in a bucket?"