Coy humor can carry most rock 'n' roll bands only so far. Take the indie Brit pop band Art Brut. Their musical shtick revolves around the strung-out, spoken-word vocals of their frenetic frontman, Eddie Argos. Onstage, Argos is known to kneel, look skyward and shriek lyrics like: "Got myself a brand new girlfriend!/I've seen her NAKED twice!/I've seen her naked TWICE!"
It's a variation on a zany party-rock style that few artists have mastered. The B-52's had their "Rock Lobster." Cake struck gold with "Short Skirt/Long Sweater." But this time out, Art Brut's pop/punk isn't cute enough to match inane verses about glancing at breasts in bars ("Direct Hit").
After the novelty success of their debut album, Art Brut should have done what Beck did post-"Loser." Change gears. Instead, their latest batch of tongue-in-cheek songs give new meaning to the phrase "That was funny the first time."