Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2012-06-19

2012-06-19

Art Brut: Brilliant! Tragic! (The End/Cooking Vinyl, 2011) Guitarist often shines, lyrics often don't ("Clever Clever Jazz," "Bad Comedian") **

Diamond Rugs: Diamond Rugs (Partisan, 2012) Whose songs do you think stick out when the Deer Tick guy convenes yet another roots-rock supergroup with the Black Lips guy and the Dead Confederate guy? ("Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant," "Gimme a Beer") ***

The Front Bottoms: The Front Bottoms (Bar/None, 2011) Two-"man" Bergen County Nerd Liberation Front cell finish each other's bellyaches, hire or simulate trumpet commentary ("The Beers," "Maps") *

Herzog: Cartoon Violence (Exit Stencil, 2012) Pop boys are always facing manhood, but that doesn't always spruce up their songs ("Your Son Is Not a Soldier," "Fuck This Year") **

The Obits: "Moody, Standard and Poor" (Sub Pop, 2011) Perpetually PO-ed alt lifers get a grip on it ("I Want Results," "No Fly List") ***

The Rapture: In the Grace of Your Love (DFA, 2011) Posers have real lives too--really--only it's really hard to care ("In the Grace of Your Love," "How Deep Is Your Love") ***

Surfer Blood: Tarot Classics (Kanine EP, 2011) EP embraces a maturity they define in part as saving your winners for Warners ("Drinking Problem," "I'm Not Ready") **

Wavves: Life Sux (Ghost Ramp EP, 2011) "A joke a stroke of genius/Probably somewhere in between" is tuneful enough, finally, but make that second line "Or only a waste of time?" and we might believe he's got some brain left ("Bug," "Poor Lenore") ***

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