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ART BRUT – ‘Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!’ Review

ART BRUT – Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!

Art BrutArt Brut are back together. What started as a break-up album and turned into an ‘in-love record’, Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!recalls the distinctive sound that burst out of the Berlin-based band back in 2005. It’s been seven years since the group’s last LP and lead singer Argos states that he was careful to “live a life” before attempting a new album. “I moved to Berlin, I nearly died with Peritonitis. I was in hospital for a bit. I had a son, I had a relationship that broke up. I wrote a comic, a memoir, a musical and had a one man show,” he says. “I don’t want to be that band who writes the sort of songs like “I don’t like touring, touring is really boring”. I think we needed a rest so some stuff could happen to me, to fill me up.”

The album opens with the massively life-affirming and uplifting Hooray with a monster hook featuring screaming guitars, pounding beats and super backing vocals all supporting those spoken/sung lead vocals that we just love delivering lyrics dripping with cleverness and a little bit of sarcasm!!! The funkier I Hope You’re Very Happy Together reminds me of some of the best Brit-pop of the 1990s combining Blur with The Smiths but set to a poppy Oasis beat with the wonderful lyric “I hope you’re very happy together, and, if you’re not, that’s even better” loved it!

On Good Morning Berlin the pace is slowed a little allowing the band to lay down some rhythmic guitars and vocals replete with whistles and focused on “Hipsters with beards eating falafel” whereas She Kissed Me (And It Felt Like A Hit) goes up-tempo with full choruses and restrained verses. Schwarzfaherer (translated as Black Traveller or, more relevant, Ticket Dodger in urban slang) is a story telling track with the vocals dominating and Hospital! Is an edgy, eclectic track replaying Argos’s trip to the surgery and the fact he doesn’t want to go back and the keyboard alien sounds add to the mystery in a Fall like way! (the interplay with backing vocals from the group is very funny).

The seventh track of the twelve is the pounding Too Clever with 1960s garage rock vibes and Kultfigur features an ominous guitar lick, big beats and some off-kilter guitar riffs to really remind me of Mark E. Smith as the lyrics go full on autobiographical. Veronica Falls has a love song/ballad feel and the title track Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out! is a stomping, danceable song with some B-52s style verses and full on punk rocking choruses!

The penultimate song, Awkward Breakfast enters with some staccato riffs and continues to deliver an angular effort with another soaring chorus with lyrics focused on the morning after the night before. The album ends with Your Enemies Are My Enemies Too and Art Brut channel Elastica with serrated guitars and it works to sum up a very welcome come back from everybody’s cult pop-punk cult band!!


Get Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out! by Art Brut: https://alcopop.bandcamp.com/album/wham-bang-pow-lets-rock-out-2