OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS
FAT CAT RECORDS 26.3.12
Does music have to be ‘arty’ to be elevated to being classified as a great art? Breton are an interesting case in point as they are not so much a band but a loose art collective – based in a disused bank building they call ‘The Lab’ where as well as creating music they produce their own art films (which you can view snippets of if you go to their website.)
First track ‘Pacemaker’ is a hotchpotch of abrasive, shrill strings and distorted beats and is initially a fairly inaccessible piece. When reviewing these albums I tend to listen using a variety of techniques – in the car, at home while washing up etc. This one definitely works best on earphones – this enables you to notice the subtleties and nuances behind the bewildering array of attempted creativity.
During ‘Wood and Plastic’ some semblance of a melody tries to escape, with the band rattling along doing a rough impression of The Wombats, but much freakier. But then other tracks such as ‘2 Years’ sound more like scratchy, ambient Leeds weirdoes Hood.
‘Jostle’ has an infuriating kazoo solo running through it, and it’s at moments like this that you just think there’s less artistic ingenuity at play here and more chucking of the kitchen sink at it in the hope that something cunningly inventive comes out of the other end.
The phrase ‘art for art’s sake’ could sum it up quite succinctly, and I would credit the person responsible for that phrase if I could remember who coined it. Music can be classed as art but it just achieves that by default if it’s great enough. So although this is a pretty good album - but it’s not great enough to be art.