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Breaking Artist: Art Brut Storm Back With Their Second Disc

June 13, 2007 6:57 PM ET

WHO: Exuberant English quartet with a lean, crude riff-rock sound and a brilliantly funny frontman, Eddie Argos, who specializes in childlike, half-spoken vocals about erectile dysfunction and other romantic misadventures. After declining to attend university -- he deliberately flunked his admissions exams, choosing to write his essay about the A-Team Argos formed Art Brut in 2002. After an endearingly funny 2005 debut and a series of killer live gigs on both sides of the Atlantic, Art Brut amped up their sound for their great new album, It's a Bit Complicated.

HEAR IT NOW: Complicated gets huge mileage out of a simple sound: Exuberant, garage-y banging overlayed with half-spoken jokes and narratives, with Argos picking through the ashtray of his brain and offering himself as the punchline -- as on "Jealous Guy," where he tries to "accidentally" wake his sleeping girl to get laid. Check out that unique sound on Art Brut's MySpace page.

WATCH IT: Dig the video for Complicated's banging new single, "Direct Hit."

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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