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September 12, 2007

Intelligence – Icky Baby

Filed under: Hype,Music — ed the portal @ 12:37 am

[In The Red; 2005]

I typically hate trying to pigeonhole a band into a genre, and Intelligence are no exception. I’ve seen them described as dancepunk, garage, lo-fi, no-wave, and god knows what else, but nothing really does an adequate job of quantifying the energy and noise they generate. But then, this is a band that seems to set itself up as a contradiction. Throughout their sophomore LP Icky Baby, their music sounds simultaneously claustrophobic and uncontainable. The tight rhythms and relentless vigor bang up against pounding drums and fuzzy, echoing vocals to produce a peculiarly harsh but satisfying final product. As a whole however, the album is remarkably consistent and doesn’t contain any weak tracks.

“Confidence” is driven by the repeated crash of cymbals and a driving guitar that cuts in and out while the lyrics scratch out some semblance of verses and a chorus. You can’t help shaking and stirring as the band blisters through the song and, as it crashes to a halt, you’re left wanting more. As such, if there is any complaint to be made about Icky Baby, it’s that the album just flies by to quickly. The thirteen tracks run at a combined 25 minutes and leave you feeling like you been sideswiped by guitars and drums traveling at supersonic speeds. The longest song, “Cheer Up Switch,” clocks in at just under three minutes and is a slower, grinding outburst of sloppy, electronic noises and feedback. Still, the energetic vocals and closed-in sound generate a feeling that you’re racing along uncontrollably.

All together, the album is marked by an impressive songwriting and musical ability that makes Intelligence a very promising and exciting band. The band is already on an amazing label and their forthcoming release Deuteronomy (due some time this month) promises to provide more of the same greatness as Icky Baby.

“Cheer Up Switch” and a couple songs off of Deuteronomy can be heard on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/theworldisadrag

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