1. Alcoholics Unanimous
1. Positively 5th St
Eddie Argos from Art Brut is one of those guys that just shouldn't have success with this formula, talking through every song as this kind of a larger than life persona...a manifestation of the ID, all those bad things you want to do... the things we're thinking but don't want to admit. Somehow he never comes across like a complete asshole, he smirks at his own songs and self deprecating humor always let him slide by and just escape the problems of other song story artists like Flight of the Conchords or Tenacious D. That's a terrible comparison, but it's the closest thing lyrically I can think of...but then to do it with real style and drive it musically into a place that can carry it's own, that's worthy of repetition.
Eddie carries everything about this band, you literally can't imagine any of these song without him, he's such a Rosetta stone for the direction of the band, this music.
But I can easily see how this is either your thing or it's not, this is going to breed really fanatic super fans and equally have people that will have to turn this off immediately. It's black or white, there's no middle ground with Art Brut. It's not going to just exist between two other songs.
I can appreciate a decisive choice to make music like this, to have this definitive view of songwriting....to have an original take on this style and really go with it.
I've been watching the video for this track 'Alcoholics Unanimous' on their myspace, the A-side track, it's right in line with the self titled album, built on great hooks, which they seem to have an unlimited supply, with Eddie's definitive lyrics. ( I think that's the thing that I again can appreciate him getting away with...the bare minimum lyrics it takes to get this idea across...everything is spelled out, there's no abstraction, it's completely clear... every thought). And what he's talking about is classic: getting drunk, blacking out, fighting and the rest of the band sounds against him in the call and response:
'I've been up all night / He's been up all night.
I've been making mistakes / Lots of mistakes
I'm hiding it well / not very well.'
I'm starting to think of this track as Art Brut's kind of modern take on 'TV Party tonight'. Let's all admit it we do stupid things, we drink, and it's hard to get dressed the next day. Art Brut captures that guilty pleasure of a perfectly crafted pop song with a truly original front man, who is literally getting away with murder....murder of everything you take seriously.
Why the track ends with crickets I'm not quite sure...it works in the video...everyone has been fighting and Eddie leaves quietly out the back door, maybe it's not part of the track on the LP?
What I'm most curious about is Positively 5th Street. I can only imagine where he might be going with this (alternate) take on the Dylan track. It's one street down after all.
That's it, I'm going to have to track this down.
This is an interesting label 'Cooking Vinyl', and that's where, directly from the source, you can get this single...import only at this point...but I'm still looking.