Art Brut – Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!

A bouncing, down-stroked bass. A blistered high-end guitar hook. Shitting hell, this is immediately good. “I’m just looking… for a party” sings Eddie Argos, as the drums collapse into the mix, and drive a beat. The song is “Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!” and it doesn’t fuck about in getting down to business. This is the first new material from Art Brut since the album Brilliant! Tragic!, which was released a hundred years ago, in 2011.

Now, we’ve got to come clean. Eddie Argos is a mate of popbollocks. He’s written some stuff for us, about art, and music and all that. His paintings hang on our office wall. You’d be forgiven for thinking that maybe this review isn’t all that objective; we’re just going to suck up to Eddie, and make coo-ing noises about his band. It’s hard when your friends release music that you’ve been waiting to hear, because it may actually turn out shit. Sometimes no amount of careful wording, or brown-nosing will conceal ‘oh – this is shit’. But wait. “Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!” is really, really good. So, we’re relieved. We don’t have to make nice with Eddie, and we don’t have to politely frame our perspective. This shit is fried gold – and the best news is you can check it out for yourself.

This is the first track that Art Brut have shared from the eagerly awaited upcoming album, which will be released in the autumn. There’s a change in line-up to the band. Here, and on the album, founding members, Eddie, Freddy Feedback, and Ian Catskilkin are joined by Toby McFarlane, (who keen-eared folk will recognize from his work with Graham Coxon) and on drums there’s the Wedding Present’s Charlie Layton.

“We’ll make some enemies in the kitchen – cos we don’t care whose booze we’re drinking” Eddie boasts that Art Brut are crashing your party. They don’t care if they’re invited or not. They’re coming in and they’re making new best mates or frenemies with everyone. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard this line from bands before; “We’re back, better than ever – don’t judge us for the time away.” But y’know, in the case of “Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!” it’s actually true. Something’s happened during the  downtime, and recalibration of the band. Here’s the dynamic that the world needs right now. An abundance of energy and Eddie Argos’ famous enthusiasm of throwing himself right into the thick of it.

It’s easy to stand back, complain about shit like politics, and the shifting position of the polar ice caps; to fall into skepticism, cynicism, and disdain. Sometimes it takes hard work to counter the culture of the mundane. With this new track Art Brut expose their work ethic, and refreshed worldview. They are signaling a return that’s as bright as we can wish for. Let 2018 be The Year! We Exclaim! Everything!



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