A.R.T – Nothing Better to Do

Posted: 13 August 2022 in Singles and EPs
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

12th August 2022

James Wells

I have questions. Not least of all, why is the bassist with A.R.T, Tiarnan Mathews known as 10” Tiarnan? I sincerely hope it isn’t because of the obvious, unless it’s ironic. But then, they all have daft nicknames, with lead guitarist Bradley Allen being known as General Sweet Tooth, drummer Scott Gordon as Dijon Mustard, and rhythm guitarist Tom Strange also known rather dubiously as Daddy Strange.

To their credit, they’ve been favourably described as ‘Bowie meets The Killers’ rather than ‘oddball creepy buggers’, which s a plus, or they wouldn’t be getting a review. I’m not prejudiced, just really busy, and give preferential treatment to acts who aren’t a bit sus.

‘Nothing Better to Do’ is pitched as ‘strolling a line between indie rock and glam, whisked together with the charm of the likes of Madness and Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ and I have to admit that this doesn’t sit comfortably. I loved Madness as a kid, but by my mid-teens I not only found them a little wearisome, but had started to take issue with their flag-waving fanbase. Granted, you can’t necessarily blame a band for the fans it attracts, but nevertheless, it can be offputting.

It’s early days for A.R.T, and there’s a lot going on here with a load of 80s indie in the nagging guitar line and a certain needling insistent groove that’s hard to ignore. There are hints of Orange Juice in the mix, not to mention a dash of funk but equally some raucous white soul and a splash of blues, before they chill the vibe with a mega sax break. Why did sax breaks seem to die a death in the 80s? Shit, we need more sax breaks. We need more A.R.T.

AA

A.R.T artwork

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