Art Brut: One Bloke's Arrested Development

"I'm in love with the girl in my comic shop," Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos sings in "DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake." "She's a girl who reads comics — she probably gets it a lot!" The lines demand to be heard in Argos' over-the-top, Brit-accented yelp, but even on paper they're representative: Like so many Argos characters, and maybe Argos himself, the working-class narrator sounds excitable, earnest and awkward around girls.

Throughout Art Brut vs. Satan, the English garage-pop band's third album, Argos dispenses thick details and self-conscious jokes about love, adulthood and rock 'n' roll itself. Outfitted with a turbo-charged bar-band stomp, "DC Comics" is spry in the same way as most songs on the album, and it possesses one of the most memorable shout-along choruses in the Argos arsenal. Though other tunes have funnier lines — like "Mysterious Bruises," a woozy drunkalogue wherein Argos reports on the stupid things he did last night, with a refrain that goes, "I fought the floor and the floor won" — "DC Comics" is pretty endearing.

The character here isn't necessarily Argos, but seems similar. He ticks off his troubles — he's worked since he was 10 but has no money, he can't get a credit card, he gets accused of Peter Pan Syndrome — but remains wildly enthusiastic about comic books and milkshakes. He may be an average bloke, but he's a sympathetic bloke: someone who kvetches lightheartedly and sounds like he'd be a committed boyfriend, despite youthful inclinations. As he puts it, "I guess I'm just developing late."

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Related NPR Stories:

Copyright NPR. View this article on