Blackplastic hated all that cool Britannia stuff that became, well, cool, back in the early days of New Labour. As such it always seems to grate a little when artists deliberately play up their British-ness to make them seem more interesting*.
This means that blackplastic should hate Art Brut. Their lyrics aren’t sung, they’re kind of spouted out in a slightly aggressive British fashion and the lyrics name check such wonderful institutions of this country (NME and TopShop for example). Yet there is something rather enjoyable in their debut LP, Bang Bang Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Bang Bang Rock ‘n’ Roll kicks off with the completely ridiculous Formed A Band, yet by 40 seconds in lead singer Eddie Argos (what a name!) has already told his ‘hunnypie’ off for buying her records at the supermarket before going off into a diatribe about the fact that his stupid ‘singing’ voice isn’t ironic. If you’re not smiling by now then you haven’t got the volume up loud enough. Things get even better once we hear about Eddie’s little brother (My Little Brother), who has apparently just discovered rock ‘n’ roll. The knowingness of the wannabe cool that so many music fans (and stars) strive for is expressed poetically, commenting on the brother only listening to b-sides and bootlegs.
Things get a little less exciting on the rest of the album, but it is all very enjoyable. It probably won’t change your life and you might want to hide it at the back of your record collection should they ever become to successful but you really should hear this album. Bang Bang Rock ‘n’ Roll is one of those albums that is just the right length, leaving you wanting more (and thereby forcing you to turn it over and start again once it’s finished).
Blackplastic’s only real criticism is that the album sounds a little disposable. It is difficult to imagine where Art Brut can go from here. If you fancy giving it a go I recommend you also give emusic.com a go since it is listed there (and with their pricing and current exchange rates it should cost you less than a couple of quid… Bargain).
*Exception that proves the rule - blackplastic thoroughly enjoys Roots Manuva's affection for cheese on toast. Diamond geezer.