In the Belly of the Brazen Bull - WICHITA
FILTER Grade: 85%
By Nevin Martell on May 14, 2012
It may be Johnny Marr–less, but the brotherly Jarman trio certainly isn’t rudderless after the departure of that high-profile guitarist. The indie scrappers’ fifth album is as cocky, defiant and shouty as earlier efforts. Chunky and chugging “Glitters Like Gold” kicks off the proceedings, then sneering fuzz-rock anthem “Come On, Be a No-One” cranks it up a notch. “Back to the Bolthole” grinds along like a soothing methadone treatment, while “Chi-Town” is a bouncing, boppy tune perfect for pogoing. Wall of sound enthusiast David Fridmann and sludge rock analogist Steve Albini split production duties here, which is obvious with each contrasting track. It’s a good thing that the Jarmans write such catchy songs, because it’s that allegiance to memorable hooks that binds this record together. You almost feel a little bad that the former Smiths axeman is longer in the mix, because he’s missing out on playing some top-notch tunes.