In the early 2000’s guitar music took itself way too seriously. Everything was very earnest and bogged down with self-importance. Then a band appeared that remembered how fun music could be and shook things up and bit.
That band was Art Brut, but after a few years recording and touring things got a bit complicated. They’ve now returned, after a seven year break, with a new glorious album ‘Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out’.
In recent years there has been a rash of defunct bands reforming for a payday. ‘Wham! Bang! Pow!’ doesn’t feel like that. It has all the same motifs and themes of their best work. Standout track ‘I Hope You’re Very Happy Together’ is an example of this. Spikey riffs, joyous melodies and a chorus of “I hope you’re very happy together / And if you’re not that’s even better” showing that Eddie Argos still handles rejection as well as ever.
After a few listens you get the feeling Art Brut are generally excited to be recording together again. The time apart has done them the world of good, as the enthusiasm they exude is infectious. Argos’ vocals have aged well and now have a warming tone, but the snarky bite still remains. The only real downside is that the album doesn’t have any monster sing-alongs like ‘Formed a Band’, ‘Emily Kane’, ‘Modern Art’, ‘St. Pauli’ or ‘Summer Job’.
Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another seven years for the next one, but given ‘Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out’ how fun this is, that might not be a bad thing.
Words: Nick Roseblade
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