Arab Strap

By - Jul 1st, 2003 02:52 pm
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By Michael Seidel

What I’ve always loved most about Arab Strap is their unapologeticness.

Drinking, fucking and, well, just fucking up are all endlessly recurring themes throughout their oeuvre, but never, not once is there a ‘sorry’, nary a pinkie toe dipped in the stagnant pool of regret. Arab Strap understand and even embrace the concept of human fallibility, that missteps are the bedrock of experience and perspective.

The band, who hail from Glasgow, Scotland, recently completed their second tour in support of Bright Eyes, whose influence on Monday at the Hug and Pint is undeniable (leadman Connor Oberst even lends backing vocals to a track called “Flirt”). Flourishes of vaguely esoteric instruments (esoteric in the scope of rock, that is) like lap steel, bagpipes, violin and accordion are liberally distributed, creating a record that’s fuller, more confident and even – gasp! – more American sounding than previous efforts.

The record follows the black comedy protocol that the band established as far back as its first record – it’s the next chapter in Arab Strap’s continuing saga of closing times, betrayals, mutual deception and dirty weekends that transition effortlessly into filthy weeks. Monday at the Hug and Pint isn’t a good starting point for those unfamiliar with the band (Philophobia should play that role), but it is a nice little chap piece, essential for anyone set on assembling the entire Arab Strap puzzle.

Matador Records

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