• Record Label: Downtown
  • Release Date: Apr 21, 2009
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. While it’s misleading to call an album “mature” when it plunders rock history for riffs and features an ode to comic books, Argos has done some growing up.
  2. How many great songs about rock and roll can one man write before he gets tiresome? We may find out.
  3. Two albums later, on yet another ingeniously titled album, Art Brut vs. Satan, the band members have done something no one expected: They’ve turned into socially conscious critics of their woebegone generation without losing the charm that made fans love them in the first place.
  4. They may be eternal adolescents, but they're also true believers in what made rock & roll great in the first place. They won't hide--can't hide--that enthusiasm, and it's contagious on Art Brut vs. Satan.
  5. Art Brut haven’t made the record that’ll reverse their gradual slide back towards cult. But they have at least made the one that’ll make the cult even more fervent.
  6. Art Brut have retained their cheeky nature from earlier albums--the riffs and grooves are tight, and the lyrics are clever.
  7. Francis' production has noticeably tightened the band's sound, as Freddy Feedback's bass bounces crisply alongside dueling riffs. Art Brut may never shed its screwball charisma, but Satan is a successful step in a mature direction.
  8. Art Brut Vs. Satan is compelling for three crucial reasons. First: Black Francis--a guy who knows something about charging guitar rock--produced the sessions. Second: The guitar subterfuge of Jasper Future and Ian Catskilkin, drive home these songs with a renewed enthusiasm. Lastly: Frontman Eddie Argos' sing-speak ruminations are inspired once again. [Jun 2009, p.108]
  9. 80
    One trick ponies, yes, but it's a good trick. [Jun 2009, p.83]
  10. Black gets the Art Brut spirit down on record better than anyone has before, with the blazing pop-metal vainglory of Weezer, the scruffy cheekiness of early Rough Trade bands, and lots of enthusiastic backing vocals. Fun for them, fun for us.
  11. 76
    The record's personlaity wins over, and the evil guitars do too. [Spring 2009, p.98]
  12. 70
    The erstwhile pixies preacher takes compliant care of Art Brut's ludicrous good name--rock-fanboy allusions and cheeky declaratives are well repped.
  13. As always, the level of enjoyment depends on your patience for this kind of reflective, hollowly structured post-music, which examines the constructs of its genre even as it pushes forward with them at full speed.
  14. Produced by the Pixies' Frank Black, the band's third album is pretty straight-forward musically, all chugging indie rock with fat bass lines and scribbled guitar solos.
  15. With Art Brut Vs. Satan the rest of the band is, more than ever, their own entity.
  16. Frank Black's stripped down, workman-like approach to these recordings has allowed for this act's still building talent to shine through. [Spring 2009, p.64]
  17. The shtick can grow wearying several songs in. But then Argos disarms you by joking about his own archness.
  18. Frank Black doing a perfectly fine job producing totally average Art Brut material can’t help but inspire a resounding “meh,” a minor pleasantry worth neither cheers nor jeers but maybe a little shoulder-shrug and a smile.
  19. Art Brut vs. Satan is somewhere in the middle; good enough to be worth a couple of listens but enough bad at times to frustrate and make you wonder what might have been.
  20. 60
    The results may finally help them to escape the label of a light-hearted Fall with singer Eddie E. Smith. [Jun 2009, p.96]
  21. The results are hyperactive and punky. [Jun 2009, p.117]
  22. There's no denying that, three albums in, the winning novelty of Art Brut's tightly defined project is beginning to wear off.
  23. Robbed of any arch qualities they might previously have hinted at, Art Brut are shown up as cuddly pop-comedians happy to tell the same joke over and over, devoid of any real insight and normal to the extent that you half-expect Argos to launch into a diatribe against aeroplane food.
  24. For Art Brut vs. Satan, the band didn’t need Frank Black to give them an edge; they needed a mentor to help them focus on their real message: changing the musical landscape. Satan may have won this round, but don’t count out Art Brut. Not just yet.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 15, 2011
    9
    ... where Frank Black's production meets Art Brut's edgy, spiky punk. Not a perfect album by any stretch of the imagination, but the... where Frank Black's production meets Art Brut's edgy, spiky punk. Not a perfect album by any stretch of the imagination, but the highlights outweigh the lowpoints in both potency and frequency. A raw, exciting (if somewhat flawed) album which will please fans of both Art Brut and Frank Black. Full Review »