Contrary to the title of its new album, there's nothing complicated about Art Brut.
And despite the band name, which refers to the outsider 20th century art movement that encapsulated the work of mental patients and other artists that specialized in trespassing beyond established artistic boundaries, there's nothing pretentious about the group either. The U.K. art-punks just bang out quick, three-minute songs that are fun and catchy, but with angular riffs that seem to come at you from everywhere, like a squadron of fighter planes.
The band's sophomore album, It's A Bit Complicated, is due out June 19 on Downtown Records, and so far, it's a chart buster. Powered by the deliriously infectious single "Direct Hit," It's A Bit Complicated debuted as the #1 Most Added Album at the CMJ Top 200. Nice.
A lot of you might know some of this from the pimping of the new record I did in an earlier blog. But, there's more news about Art Brut to tell you about. First off, the band is going to be touring the U.S. this summer (keep checking www.artbrut.org.uk/ for more information as it becomes available) and you should go out and see them. And there's more. Art Brut will be performing on Late Night With Conan O' Brian on July 11 and playing an exclusive New York City show with Goldmine favorites, White Rabbits on July 9.
In addition, Goldmine plans on running a feature story about the band in its July 20 issue. Art Brut's cheeky master of ceremonies Eddie Argos talked recently about his group's live performances, which reportedly are the stuff of legend. To them, it's all about showmanship.
"We played live so much now," says Argos. "We played live nearly every day of last year I think. We left Germany and went to America and back to England. No time off, hardly, and everybody's a big show-off."
Along with the bristling energy and gripping hooks of the new album, Art Brut employs a horn section in certain areas, fleshing the band's highly caffeinated sound out in more soulful ways. Will they be brought on tour?
"If we can, but I think it might be quite expensive," laughs Argos. "No, for special occasions I think. We're thinking of getting them for a few shows. I'd love to have a horn section though all the time, but I don't think it's financially viable. Maybe I should learn the trumpet. That's something I might do. Maybe I could play the horn section then."
Dates across the U.S. will include opening act Maximo Park.