Intelligence on the Intelligence

The new Intelligence album is called Males and is out on In The Red on 24 August. (I feel like MBV…actually this post would stop after the first sentence, the album artwork would be larger and a lot more of you would be looking at this if that were the case.)

This record is reported to be a full band effort as opposed to the regular Lars doing it all himself thing.  As evidenced by the track list it contains some songs previously released elsewhere, though they are undoubtedly rerecorded.  Chris Woodhouse is in the producer’s chair , as well as now being a full time member of the band.

1.  Bong Life
2.  Tuned To Puke
3.  Sailor Itch
4.  The Universe
5.  Like Like Like Like Like Like Like
6.  Estate Sales
7.  Mom Or A Parking Lot
8.  White Corvette
9.  The Beetles
10.  Chateau Bandit
11.  Males

In other related Intelligence news: this Thursday is the final Trainwreck of the summer.  Trainwreck is the monthly party that happens at the Orient Express where half of the Intelligence (Finberg and Susannah Welbourne) get all gussied up and perform as Puberty.  You don’t want to miss it.

Do Not Fear the Wounded Lion

Wounded Lion by Dawn Chenette

After seeing Wounded Lion at Trailer Space Records at SxSW, I went up to see what they had for sale.  I was hoping they would have copies of their new album that is due soon on In The Red.  No luck, but singer Brad Eberhard pulled out some t-shirts saying that they were a variation on something something something.  His words kind of went in one ear and out the other, my attention span was for naught on this fourth day of music overload.  Whatever he was saying about the artwork on the shirt, he sounded like he I should know what he was talking about.  Probably how I sound when I’m telling someone about some new 7″ single.  I nodded, forked over my $10 bucks and told him they should come up and play Seattle.

Later, I come to find out that Brad Eberhard is not only the singer of one of the best new bands around, he’s also quite an accomplished painter. His  paintings are vibrant creations using lots of color, shapes and collage style, kinda like Wounded Lion songs. The paintings may be a bit more refined, compared to the his band’s self confessed love of the primitive.  They claim the Cramps and the Monks as influences as well as such UK legends as the Move, the Creation and Kinks, and I would throw in early Echo & the Bunnymen.  These are all bands everyone in their right mind looks up to, but Wounded Lion seem to be able to take their influences and turn them into these odd, eccentric, big sounding, catchy, songs.  Some might call it geek-rock, but Wounded Lion sound a little bit menacing, something  true geeks might never consider.

After three singles, the band are finally letting loose an album of their crazy Los Angeles version of cave rock.  I don’t think there’s a bad apple in the bunch.  The record starts off with three quick shots.  Hungry? leaves you wondering what kind of strange pets these guys live with, then Creatures In the Cave invites you into their cave to get down, with Eberhard belting out I’m in the Cave over top of a manic scratchy guitar riff.  Song number three takes us to Yoda’s home, the Degoba System, it’s another cave stomper, except this time on another planet.  The cave stomping doesn’t end there, both Cloud Carol and Pony People from their out of print debut single shows up in re-recorded versions.  The band only slow down for the closing country and western tinged 12 Crunchy Stars, giving themselves a chance to show off the more sensitive of  their cave-man selves.

mp3: Wounded Lion – Creatures In the Cave

The Wounded Lion album is out on In the Red on 27 April

The War for Intelligence

The Intelligence take the octopus by the head
photo from the Intelligence MySpace

Do you ever wish you were smarter? If the answer to that question is yes, I have just the thing for you. The new album from Seattle’s the Intelligence, and if that’s not enough how about two new albums from the Intelligence? The first new album, Fake Surfers, is the one I’ve been looking forward to since seeing them play a lot of it back in December at the Sunset Tavern. Fake Surfers is album number four and their third on In The Red. 2007’s Deuteronomy seemed like a major step forward for the band, with leader Lars Finberg shedding his bedroom lo-fi tendencies to make a record in a real studio. Fake Surfers was recorded down in the OC and continues the cleaner sound of Deuteronomy, but not the band’s skewed take on pop. It seems like there are a lot of acoustic guitars throughout the record, which is something I’ve not noticed on previous records. Don’t let the acoustic guitars scare you off, because Finberg and company have certainly not lost their cockeyed and warped pop sensibilities. What I mean is that every song has big meaty hooks, but there are always strange descending atonal vocals, strange keyboard flourishes, weirdly tuned guitar noises or Lars yelling I don’t have time for squids making everything sound just a little off. But in the universe of the Intelligence everything that is off is of course right on. Fake Surfers is 11 new originals and a cover of Wounded Lion’s Pony People.   They could have included songs from any one of the handful of  singles they’ve put out on Plastic Idol, Raw Deluxe and April 77, but the only song that I had previously heard was Debt & ESP that came out on Plastic Idol last Year.

Apparently not content to put out just one record at a time, the Intelligence have two coming out. To the apparent ignorance of most everyone (me included until I read Victim of Time), French label Born Bad has just released another new Intelligence record called Crepuscule with Pacman.  This one is a more lo-fi affair with the ever prolific Finberg locked in a room with an eight-track creating more warped pop mayhem.    The fact that these guys have flown under the radar for so long is probably only due to the fact that the band almost treat self-promotion as a major sin.  A while ago, I remember a timid announcement from the band that they were going to start selling some of their records on their MySpace page.  It was almost an apology for venturing into capitalistic means to support and promote their band.  Instead the Intelligence choose the old school way of taking to the road and touring like crazy.  They just started a short west coast jaunt before heading off to Europa for a couple months.  I’d like to think by the time they get back to the states the kids will have finally figured it out, and the Intelligence will be huge.  When asked the question, are you a fan of Intelligence, people will realize they’d be fools to say no.

mp3: The Intelligence – Thank You God For Fixing The Tape (from the forthcoming Fake Surfers)

You can get Fake Surfers from In the Red and Crepuscule with Pacman from Born Bad, and the long list of tour dates after the click:

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