November 5, 2009

Live Review: Art Brut

The Mohawk // Austin, TX // Oct. 25, 2009

A bevy of alcoholic beverages can take a mediocre show from ho hum to hell of a time. Art Brut took that adage to the max at the Mohawk on Sunday, Oct. 25. Frontman Eddie Argos took the stage with a slight slur of the tongue and a sauced swagger indicative of the show he was about to give along side his Art Brut bandmates. In zero to sixty, the booze and electric guitars had fueled a fire under Argos and band – who were on the 10 day of touring for their new album, Art Brut vs. Satan. Incidentally, it was Argos’ birthday.

Argos made no secret of his condition upon finishing his opening tune as he piped in with a musical explanation, “Alcoholics Unanimous.” It’s a fast and loose tune with simple bass lines and high energy guitar combined with Argos’ vocals: it comes off characteristic of classic Iggy Pop. Art Brut went back to blaming it on the alcohol in the humorous and perhaps oddly relatable “Mysterious Brusies.” The lyrics are tongue-in-cheek – but then who hasn’t “fought the floor and the floor won” – and the guitars are easily worthy of a head bob or hip sway.

Argos managed to find his way into the audience, slipping into droll, drunken chronicles of his life experiences – real or fabricated. They were perhaps embellished per the imbibed, but were effectively woven into songs like “DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake.” The songs off Art Brut vs. Satan make it easy for Argos to maintain his confessional lyricism and never-to-grow-up side, while guitarists Ian Catskilkin and Jeff Future get to toy with art riffs to and fro. The band rounded out the show with fan pleasers like “Emily Kane” for good measure. Just as the new album is surprisingly comforting in its eccentricity and punky nostalgia, Art Brut's show strongly followed suit – cheers to that.

-Tara Lacey

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