By Graeme Wiggins
In two senses Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out! is somewhat of a return for Art Brut. In one sense, it’s their first album in seven years, which in today’s album churn, that’s a lifetime. In the other sense it’s a return to form of sorts, with the band taking their sound back to the basics after a few albums of broadening their palette. The songs are barely sung; singer Eddie Argos’ delivery a bit more of a rant than anything resembling melody. He relies on hyper-specific, brutally honest autobiography with a self-deprecating humour instead of singing chops.
Sometimes this specificity works, like the title track, which marries high energy hooks to an almost desperate plea of an aging hipster to stay cool, or “Veronica Falls,” which name checks the forgotten indie band of the title in a quiet ballad about regrets not made, adding a little twist at the end. Other times the honest biography can wear a little thin. Opening track, “Absurd Breakfast,” has Argos talking about the difficult social situations that one-night stands present. It comes off as the saddest humble brag ever. He’s a witty writer, and the humour (and some good hooks) mostly overcome some of the weaker, less relatable moments.Alcopop! Records, Art Brut, Record Review, Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!