The Intelligence's music tricks you into thinking you have too much blood in your alcohol stream. Led by Lars Finberg, A Frames' hell-raising drummer, they wreak havoc with your equilibrium in a looser, more squalling manner than that band's scathingly bleak dynamos.
"If anything, the Intelligence are ripping off [Erin Sullivan's] and Min [Yee's] old band Bend Sinister," Finberg modestly states. If that's so, then Bend Sinister must have ruled. The Intelligence's 2004 debut, Boredom and Terror, abounds with hooky garage rock that's filtered through the dusty post-punk lenses of the Fall, Swell Maps, and Devo rather than following the dog-eared Nuggets manual.
By contrast, the Intelligence's new full-length, Icky Baby (which is split between solo Finberg songs and full-band efforts featuring drummer Matthew Ford, bassist Calvin Lee Reader, and guitarist Nicolas Brawley), sounds much more aggressive than Boredom and Terror. While the first album was instantly accessible in a wonderfully weird way, Baby takes more effort to discern the tunes beneath the clamor. "As far as the songs that I recorded by myself, I just got better with the eight-track and the mastering is a lot louder, something I really regret about the first record.
"The songs with the band, though," Finberg continues, "naturally make stuff gnarlier than it would be if it was me recording everything in my living room. Brawley and Reader come from this great band Popular Shapes that was fast and noisy, and I think at times it sounds like me playing with their band rather than the other way around."
Both Intelligence albums flash by in 25 minutes. Finberg's songs concisely, pugnaciously make their exhilarating points, then vamoose. "I think all our songs need is verse-chorus-verse-chorus-done, at least when I'm writing them," Finberg says. "And we've had complaints about them being too short, but I feel like I'm bullshitting [by] putting more stuff in sometimes. Plus, I'm really lazy and if you come up with a bridge or a third part, that can just be another song. Or maybe I'm insecure and just want to get out of there."firstname.lastname@example.org