Leak Of The Day, Part II: Art Brut Has To Go And Make Things So Complicated

abrut.jpgA few months ago, Art Burt leaked some demos from its forthcoming It’s A Bit Complicated; now, the whole album has found its way to the Internet. We still need a few more listens, but on first pass, Complicated sounds like a haphazardly assembled collection of songs about old relationships, punk rock and old relationships with punk rock. In other words, it’s an Art Brut album:

Art Brut – St. Pauli [MP3, link expired]
Art Brut – People In Love [MP3, link expired]
Art Brut [MySpace]

  • Xenu

    I heart you, Idolator! Bang Bang Rock & Roll was one of my very favorite albums of last year, and I’m digging these songs, too.

  • JudgeFudge

    Art Brut, Top Of The Pops!

  • Bazooka Tooth

    At the risk of losing my “rockist” status, I must say that Art Brut bores me. “Formed A Band”? Should’ve formed a better band.

  • DavidWatts

    Art Brut at the Soho Grand was one of the best shows of my life. Stood next to Kelefa the whole time, but too shy to say anything. Made it feel like an “event,” tho!

  • James J. Dunkin

    I greatly appreciate the service Art Brut perform. Three years ago, I was in an accident and damaged the part of my brain that processes and enjoys the basic features of music and songwriting. After several surgeries and a rigorous therapy regimen, my doctors informed me that I’d never enjoy those things again – but that the part of my brain that derived pleasure pureley from feeling in on a joke was intact.

    Art Brut bravelessly and selflessly make music for people like me, who have tragically lost the capacity for all enjoyment beyond smug self-congratulation.

  • janine

    Exactly, nothing’s worse than riffy guitars and great, exuberant live shows. The way everyone is genuinely smiling when they leave Art Brut shows totally sucks, also.

  • NickEddy


  • Audif Jackson Winters III

    I just can’t get over the fact that it’s comedy rock. It’s like eating at a strip club; I don’t want to combine those two pleasures.

  • Trackback

    There simply isn’t another band right now that rocks like Art Brut while maintaining an unpretentious, legitimately laugh-out-loud sense of humor. Except maybe Keane. (Idolator)Yay! New Animal Collective album coming out this fall!

  • StevenPatrickMorrissey

    art brut is without a doubt one of the live bands i’ve ever seen. comedy rock? i think not. they’re the fall who those who’ve never heard the fall but honestly a lot better.

    “direct hit” is going to be exactly that or there is no justice in this world.

  • NickEddy

    Comedy in the sense that Jarvis Cocker is comedy, maybe. Or WWII.

  • James J. Dunkin

    It’s not just that they’re comedy rock, it’s that they’re the Dane Cook of comedy rock. It’s not actually funny – it just fosters the feeling that because you’re in on the joke, you’re totally friends with like the funniest kid at the cool kids’ table.

  • janine

    @NickEddy: or comedy in the Charlie Brown getting the ball pulled away from him sense.

    @James J. Dunkin: Are you referring to Electric 6 or Art Brut? Are all those people at the shows (even towards the back) jumping up and down not because of the great little guitar chord riffs, but because they feel in on a joke? Also, are you implying that Dane Cook fans (I don’t know any) like him because he’s some sort of secret or acquired taste sort of funny?

  • James J. Dunkin

    @janine: Heather Havrilesky explains this particular aspect of Cook’s awful comedy here. People like him because he makes them feel in on the joke, and anyone can feel in on the joke because the joke isn’t actually funny – it’s just code for being part of the demographic.

    You’re proving my point about Art Brut. The only musical feature you’re referring to is their goofy, openly derivative riffs, which are nothing at all special. Every other thing you reference is just about the social experience of giggling and smiling and jumping up and down with your friends. If you have fun with that little ritual of confirmed social inclusion, great. But it doesn’t make the music not terrible.

  • janine

    Wow, first you pull a modified Godwin’s by raising the spectre of Dane Cook, then you up the ante with ye olde “you’re proving my point,” (the internet version of “I know you are but what am I?”), and then top it all off by presuming to know my very motivations without ever meeting me. Congrats, you win the internet.

    Man, you really provoked me with the last bit. What do you want, for me to enjoy Iron & Wine? (Though those are ostensibly cooler kids) I’m afraid that’s not possible. What if (as is actually the case) I love the sound of guitars so much, I’ll listen to almost anything guitar driven?

  • janine

    I try to get out, and they pull me back in! I never claimed to be an aficionado. I said I love the guitar. I like the timbre of guitars. The sound of a guitar (or better 2 guitars) will always get me in the same way many hip hop heads love snares. (I even like the sound of me playing guitar, and I’m not all that great.) That said, the two guitarist for Art Brut do their job very well, and they sound like they listen to a lot of AC/DC. I do too.

    If you were making a guitar “aficionado” list, (I have to ask) why choose Guided by Voices? It’s not like Nate Farley is a Paul Gilbert or anything. (Though I like Nate Farley.)

    …and I thank you for your civility in only implying that I’m a liar (about what, I’m not sure).

  • Tiger_Tanaka

    @James J. Dunkin: It’s so frustrating being you, isn’t it? Knowing the “hep” musical TRUTH and all that (Tortoise AND Thin Lizzy – how Pitchfork!), the commenting oneupmanship that belies your polished education (Masters?), the…smugness, really. It’s ironic. It’s as if this band was MEANT for you. Maybe that’s it – they beat you to the punch. Or you’re hurt that they didn’t ask you to join. You see kids, when you hate something, you’re really hating something…about yourself.

    The More You Know,


  • janine

    That’s right. I read and comment on Idolator because I only own one CD. Again with the assuming. I don’t mind disagreeing, but I do very much mind being told what I’m like and what my entire music collection consists of because of one of the bands I listen to.

    By the way, I can tell you don’t choose your music as a means of social inclusion, because you’re so good at identifying groups by what music they listen to.

  • Tiger_Tanaka

    …and Heather Havrilesky sounds like an effing pill to be around, like Paul Rudd’s “serious” college girlfriend in Clueless. Imagine that web page used to promote an unknown comic as opposed to wringing your hands over (further promoting, essentially) the biggest comic going. Silliness, and I’m not much of a Dane Cook fan either.

  • DavidWatts

    @James J. Dunkin: It’s interesting that you didn’t include Wire or X or Richard Hell or Radio Birdman in your boring as shit list. Just admit it: you don’t like loud noises!

  • The Mozfather

    Wow. There’s a fantastic amount of urination on the rock musical canon going on here.

    Uhm. I like Art Brut, and it’s because their songs are fun. Whether or not they are “better” than the bands you mentioned is not really the point, is it? If liking bands was simply due to whether or not they had complex guitar work, we’d all be listening to math rock and have done with it. If instead, liking a band was due to something like – I don’t know – the pleasure it produces in you – you wouldn’t really care if the guitar work is “interesting”.

    And that’s why you sound like a snob, dude. Because you’re saying that people can’t feel pleasure while listening to Art Brut.

  • James J. Dunkin

    @janine: I’ve got no knowledge whatsoever as to why you personally like Art Brut, outside of what you tell me. I’ll admit that I’m flabbergasted that anyone could claim to be an Art Brut fan because of their guitar aficionado status, but hey, I don’t know you, so I’m not going to call you a liar. But it sure as hell seems like most Art Brut fans just like feeling in on the joke.

    And Tiger, I don’t quite see how it makes sense to tar me with the Pitchfork brush when I’m criticizing a band they fawn over endlessly, but I guess the “Pitchfork” signifier has grown to just be a general term for “bad stupid music jerk” the way “fascism” has become a general term for “bad stupid politics jerk.” So, ok.

  • G3K

    @Moz: Can’t feel pleasure or shouldn’t feel pleasure? I don’t think it’s an issue of ability, just a classic case of people telling other people what music to like and dislike.

    Me, I found Art Brut’s first record intermittently enjoyable, with “Good Weekend” being the only real standout. It’s true you have to see them live to really get it, as Eddie Argos comes off as quite genuine rather than ironic – just like the thousands of fans freaking out at Coachella ’06, or the lucky few (including me) who were around for the Phoenix set he performed almost entirely from the audience.

    Oh, and the Dane Cook fans who were there to see We Are Scientists didn’t “get it” either, proving that there are at least two levels of broad humor operating here.

  • Tiger_Tanaka

    I was referring more to the general sense of insufferable, judgmental rock snobbishness your posts exuded, like this guy:


  • The Mozfather

    In this case, I think “can’t” is somewhat more appropriate. As in “I can’t imagine myself actually enjoying Art Brut!” The dude who is criticizing people for liking Art Brut doesn’t think it’s immoral or improper to like them; he’s amazed that anyone can actually like them. It’s about as enlightening as statement as “I can’t imagine myself liking caviar!” Has he not heard about chacun a son gout?

  • James J. Dunkin

    Well, if you love guitars, you could listen to, say, Comets on Fire, or Don Caballero, or A Minor Forest, or the No Neck Blues Band, or Battles, or Glenn Branca, or Tortoise, or Thin Lizzy, or Atheist, or Electrelane, or Trans Am, or Ted Leo, or Guided by Voices, or Neu!, or Marnie Stern, or Spacemen 3, or the Who, or any of the hundreds, if not thousands, of bands in the last six-plus decades with better, more interesting guitar work than Art Brut. Just a thought.

    And I’m pretty sure using the phrase “you win the internet” means that you win the internet.

  • thegreatestjake


    “art brut is without a doubt one of the live bands i’ve ever seen”

    Sorry to have doubted you…

  • Dancomono

    Art Brut is like the hot girl who keeps talking about how great her own breasts are at the party. Despite any truth to the fact, it kills any attraction.

    Plus, I would slap that guy’s accent if it had a physical form.

  • eatsshootsleaves

    What’s wrong with music being fun? A lot of Art Brut’s catchy and good for blasting out of your car speakers, so even if they aren’t my favorite band, I’d rather listen to them then all of those indie bands out there taking themselves way too seriously. Consider this:

    “There are nights when I think that Sal Paradise was right. Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together.”


    “I’ve seen her NAKED–TWICE!”