On the Racks: May 9, 2006

Art Brut’s Bang Bang and Matmos’s brutish art
By MATT ASHARE  |  May 9, 2006

Art Brut

Seems like just yesterday the Arctic Monkeys were storming these shores with a catchy single and a heavily hyped album that’d already been selling out in the import bins for months. England’s latest answer to the Monkeys — if you believe in that kind of thing — are the equally enthusiastic Art Brut. Once dubbed the “best unsigned band in the world” (by Blender, though), they’re now on an international tear, and their Bang Bang Rock & Roll (Downtown) — wry salvo of big guitars dwarfed only by singer Eddie Argos’ enormous reservoir of attitude — is now available domestically. Say hello to the next big British thing.

Bjork is merely the biggest star the San Francisco electronic duo Matmos invited into the studio for their latest conceptual creation. The Rose Has Teeth In the Mouth of the Beast (Matador) is dedicated to various “heroes,” from Darby Crash to William S. Burroughs, Valerie Solanas to Ludwig Wittgenstein. Old Ludwig is the guy they pillaged the title from. And the title track is a lot catchier than you might expect from a song inspired by a card carrying anti-metaphysical logical positivist. Beat that.

And you can say goodbye to Grandaddy. Hard to believe it’s been almost 15 years since they started the best band ever to come out of Modesto. But after all those years of delivering artfully skewed, vaguely-psychedelic indie-pop, the band today releases their fifth and final album, Just Like the Fambly Cat (V2). Its air of wistful reflection suggests that singer/songwriter Jason Lytle had a pretty good idea that he’d be splitting once the disc was done. Reports have him moving to Montana.

Songwriting, you may have noticed, was never really the strength of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sure, once a decade they pull an “Under the Bridge” out of their asses, but c’mon, what have they done for you lately? Perhaps the Peppers are counting on their fans to mistake their new two-disc set Stadium Arcadium (Reprise) for a best-of collection. But in fact it’s a full double-CD of new material: daunting, to say the least. Is it any good? Stranger things have happened. Maybe Anthony Kiedis had some major breakthrough in his Pilates for Dummies class.

Evidently, Snow Patrol let all the Coldplay comparisons go to their heads. Or maybe it was that tour opening for U2. In any case, the band’s new Eyes Open (Interscope) goes to great lengths to out-anthem X&Y, while Gary Lightbody does his best to eclipse Chris Martin as England’s top over-emoting heartthrob. Someone please tell him Gwyneth Paltrow’s already taken.
Related: WFNX's top 101 songs in 2009, WFNX's top 101 songs of the decade, Bell X1, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Music, Music Reviews,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SEND IN THE CLOWNS  |  July 02, 2009
    The New York Post got to resurrect its priceless "Wacko Jacko" headline. Barbara Walters scored Super Bowl-level ratings without having to lift a pretty little finger. And Michael Jackson, well, no matter how you slice it, he got screwed royally.
  •   ARRESTING DEVELOPMENTS  |  September 16, 2008
    Lack of talent, charisma, and/or personality can prevent a good band from achieving greatness — but too much of a good thing can also be a problem.
  •   ROCK THERAPIES  |  July 22, 2008
    A little over four years ago, the Boston music scene lost one of its cuter couples when singer-songwriter Blake Hazard and guitarist/producer John Dragonetti left town for LA.
  •   FORTUNATE ONE  |  July 07, 2008
    It was no surprise to find Chris Brokaw in Hawaii last week, just two Saturdays before he’s due back in Cambridge to pull a double shift upstairs at the Middle East.
  •   BOSTON MUSIC NEWS: JULY 11, 2008  |  July 08, 2008
    The New Year, a band the Kadanes started with Chris Brokaw on drums a decade ago, are still a going concern.

 See all articles by: MATT ASHARE