Art Brut, 'Brilliant! Tragic!' (Cooking Vinyl/The End)

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Brilliant! Tragic!
Critical Mass
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Label: Cooking Vinyl/The End

by Peter S. Scholtes

Honoring a spoken-punk tradition closer to Flipper than the Fall, 2009's Art Brut vs. Satan was these Londoners' pop apotheosis, although only fans noticed. Now singer Eddie Argos yearns "to give the world the finger with the exception of my favorite lead singer" -- in this case, Axl Rose -- and even if he's acting, he commits with his voice, going for a whisper and a scream instead of his usual ebullient deadpan. The results vary: "Lost Weekend" is some kind of romantic peak, while the Lennon-esque "I Am the Psychic" is not.

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