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Saturday, 25 April 2009

Art Brut Vs. Satan: Track By Track

Apologies for yesterday's rant repeating what we've already said. Anyway, here's Art Brut Vs. Satan, broken down track by track - explaining exactly why you should buy it. Most of what we've got to say about the record is about the lyrics and themes of Eddie Argos, however we want to state now that this is no slight on the abilities of the band, who are absolutely ace and provide a solid fuzzy pop-rock backing to Mr Argos.

'Alcoholics Unanimous': the lead single - reviewed here

'DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake': song about the finer things in life. Geeky, endearing and catchy, it's everything we want from Art Brut.

'The Passenger': extolling the wonders of public transport, this song is full of energy and will have you bouncing in your bus seat

'Am I Normal?': entertaining and funny story about adolescent romance, the stalker-like lyrics are offset by Eddie's charm and confusion

'What A Rush': another Argos song about girls and awkwardness. Best summed up by the opening line of "I wish I hadn't taken my clothes off"

'Demons Out!': having finished talking about girls, it's now onto the first of three songs about the other love/hate relationship in Eddie's life - pop music. "The record buying public shouldn't be voting!". It's Art Brut's state of the nation adress and mission statement

'Slap Dash For No Cash': this record was produced by Pixies frontman Black Francis (or whatever name he's using this week) and it's delightfully understated, unlike the previous albums' pop sheen. 'Slap Dash...' is about the delights of just plugging in and playing

'The Replacements': yes, still talking about pop music, but Argos knows his stuff. "I can't believe I've only just discovered The Replacements" he says, talking about how no-one had recommended them, assuming that he was already a fan. Reminding us of our never-ending quest to find another band that we truly love, it's made us think: are there bands that no-ones recommending us

'Twist And Shout': we're not really sure what this one's about, but it's still rather fun and catchy

'Summer Job': this one has the chorus carried on backing vocals, which is somewhat unusual for the Brut. This one may be the catchiest on the album, which is saying something.

'Mysterious Bruises': this song's over seven minuets long, making it Art Brut's longest by a long way. Follows on from the opening track and contains the lyric "I fought the floor and the floor won".

9/10
Essential album, especially for understaning where KPL is coming from

Keep/Pop/Loud

Saturday, 11 April 2009

KPL Spring Album Round-Up

This post is to serve as something of an apology for the lack of original material on the site of late. As we've been short on money we've been relying on review materials from This Is Fake DIY, which has in turn made us short on time – hence the content mainly being said reviews. Anyway, there's been a deluge of interesting releases of late and it looks like 2009 might just shape up to be a good year for albums. Here's a quick round-up of the spring releases that we've been getting our ears around.

Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
8/10
We only had a brief listen to this on Spotify, but we can say that after a couple of really impressive singles recently ('The Fear' is one of the songs of the year – FACT!) we were still surprised by the quality of this record. It's on our 'to buy' list.

Music From The Motion Picture Watchmen
7/10
A great and very cool collection of songs that feature in the brilliant film. Unfortunately it's slightly ruined by radio edits of Dylan's 'The Times They Are A-Changin'' and Cohen's 'Hallelujah' despite the compilation's relatively short running length. On the bright side however there's Hendrix, Joplin and Wagner, not to mention one of the songs of the year in My Chemical Romance's 'Desolation Row'

Howling BellsRadio Wars
8/10
Bold and sultry, it's certainly a step on from Howling Bells d├ębut with more confidence and arguably better tunes. Still, it doesn't take a foot off the peddle marked 'atmospheric' and still manages to create some stunning musical imagery.

The RakesKlang
7/10
A charming, scruffy, punked up artrock record and an evolution from their previous material by taking a step back. It's more of a grower as the lyrics and melodies are hidden under fuzz and low-fi production values. This doesn't change the fact that frontman Donohoe is on top form and that Berlin has certainly reinvigorated the band from the corpse of the London scene.

The DecemberistsThe Hazards of Love
5/10
There's enough on evidence on this prog/folk record to demonstrate the skill of the musicians in The Decemberists, sadly though for KPL there's nowhere near enough tunes to mean that it's anywhere near as strong as their previous two releases. There's a brilliant flow and lots of interesting sounds however. Very cerebral but a bit too prog for us.

GrammaticsGrammatics
9/10
We'd seen Grammatics live a few times in the past couple of years and their unique line-up (including a cello player) and take on alternative music got us rather excited about their album. Thankfully it lives up to the expectations. It's a complex and difficult listen but is incredibly rewarding and absolutely essential for anyone who enjoys putting work into enjoying music.

That's all we have time for at the moment, but don't worry as at some point in the future the recent releases from Hot Leg, Doves, Mastodon and Dananananaykroyd will get mention here, either in their own reviews if there's time (we hope to get some more stuff written on some of the above releases too) or in a future round-up.