Art Brutality!

If you spent much time around me in 2005, you undoubtedly heard me prattle on about Britain’s finest export, Art Brut. Their debut album, Bang Bang Rock & Roll, lit a fire in the music world, bringing elements of Art Rock, Punk Rock and Brit Pop together in an aggressive mash-up of catchy hooks and thunderous verses. As I think back, 2005 was a tremendous year for music… especially for my own personal music collection. Ought Five gave us amazing releases from The Hold Steady, Animal Collective, The Decemberists, Devendra Banhart, Bloc Party, Jamie Lidell, The Clientele, Clipse, Kanye West, Sufjan Stevens and… of course, Art Brut.

I was immediately taken with Bang Bang Rock & Roll‘s debut single, Emily Kane. The poppy ode to childhood love featured some of the most unique songwriting of the year, begging to be a radio single in a time when acts with names like Chamillionaire and Nickleback worked overtime to make very, very sure that it never happened. Although, I do believe that it charted briefly in the UK, good for them! Anyway, the album quickly fell into heavy rotation ’round my house (which says something when you consider that, at the time, it was fighting for a place against Separation Sunday, Feels and Funeral). So, it is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Art Brut’s second record, It’s A Bit Complicated.

There may have never been a band more poised for a “sophomore slump” than this one. The album was unique, but perhaps it was unique in that “this is never going to work a 2nd time” kind of way. To the amazement of the entire music blogging community, It’s A Bit Complicated has managed to succeed on every level, offering a slightly more polished sound but remaining true to the dynamic that made the band stand out. The new release is satisfying on every level, with a refined feel that may work to their advantage, bringing in new listeners.

Lyrically, Art Brut hasn’t missed a step. The charming, laugh out loud commentary on love and loss contained within Bang Bang… is still present, providing such gems as:

(on the prospect of infidelity)

You’re asleep, I wish I was too
But I can’t because I’ve got something to prove
I tried to wake you with a really loud cough
I accidentally set your alarm clock off

(on the bohemian lifestyle)

I’m young and nothing can harm me
I’ve sold all my records to pay for a party
I’m still drunk, but that’s alright
I’ve been staying out every night
You’re always welcome to crash on my floor
There’s no key or lock for the door
I’m ignoring my grown-up problems as
I’ve got no idea how to solve them

(on the PERFECTLY REASONABLE prospect of halting a make-out session to point out a great song on the stereo)

I’m taking it slowly
I’ve been reading the signs
I found my hand in a place
Where I can’t tell if she minds
Rolling around amongst our clothes on the floor
I can’t help it:
“Have you heard this song before?”

Of course, it would be unfair for me to simply tell you about this wonderful record without sharing a few bits of the wonder. So, take a minute to check out a few choice cuts for yourself. At this point, my job is done… you’ve now had a friendly reminder that they still exist. Now, if only you’ll buy an album maybe they’ll tour somewhere a little closer than Chicago next year.

Art Brut – Pump Up The Volume

Art Brut – I Will Survive

Art Brut – Direct Hit

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