NPR logo Finding Redemption in Rock 'n' Roll

Finding Redemption in Rock 'n' Roll

My Little Brother

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Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "My Little Brother"
  • Artist: Art Brut
  • CD: Bang Bang Rock & Roll
  • Genre: Rock

The English rock band Art Brut erupts with a fireball of adolescent rage on "My Little Brother," which arrives complete with galloping guitars and drums that recall the opening of The Clash's classic "London Calling." When frontman Eddie Argos begins to sing, Art Brut even more explicitly brings to mind a garage-band version of its great ancestor.

At its best, Art Brut becomes a garage-band version of what The Clash used to be. hide caption

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At the heart of "My Little Brother" lies the story of a family member who, at 22, discovers rock 'n' roll and makes tapes of "bootlegs and B-sides" instead of singles. Argos sings with manic fervor: "My little brother just discovered rock 'n' roll / There's a noise in his head and he's out of control."

Like a weird combination of Jonathan Richman and Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Argos sneers and shouts, with sarcastic, often humorous observations that mock, yet ultimately glorify, the unique power of rock 'n' roll. On "My Little Brother," Art Brut offers the promise of reckless abandon and rock redemption that every garage band should long to re-create.

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