The Robocop Kraus

May 11, 2006
40 Watt Club
Athens, GA

The Robocop Kraus:

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Art Brut:

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It was after midnight before Art Brut gathered on the 40 Watt stage. The crowd was a little sparse (summer in Athens) as the band launched into Metallica's "Enter Sandman” riff but everyone there was smiling. The Metallica nod segued into "Formed A Band" as front man Eddie Argos sauntered out. The next hour or so balanced on a fine line between endearing sincerity and indie irony. While Art Brut aren’t much more than a one trick pony, they’re a fun pony nonetheless.

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About half-way through the show, several guys up front started yelling "Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!" between every song. No, it wasn't a bunch of frat boys yelling for blood but fans yelling a request. Eddie took the time to apologize to them because the band didn't know it with their new guitarist. That could’ve been the end of it but for the rest of the night he teased the front row (and the offending guitarist) about it.

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The most interesting thing to me was that the lyrics are still evolving. Nothing from the record was missing but there was plenty added. In fact, my least favorite song on the record, "Rusted Guns Of Milan", became one of my favorites due to the additions. Then there were the obvious songs. "Modern Art" was surprisingly heavy and "My Little Brother" had the crowd dancing. When a girl held up her ID to prove that she was, in fact, "Emily Kane", they played that to her with Eddie pointing to her every time the name came up.

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For their encore, he announced with a smile, "This one's about fighting (dramatic pause while the requesters roared)'s about fighting capitalism as Italian terrorists!" before burning through "18,000 Lire". They never did attempt "Fight!" But this was enough fun that even those that didn’t get their request left with a smile.

All photos and review by Chris McKay /