This week's Breaking Sounds feature spotlights the fourth album by Seattle's prolific and sacred Intelligence, entitled Deuteronomy, and is destined to change your whole outlook on "pop" music. Unlike the previous settings in which Lars Finberg and his rotating cavalcade of noisemakers have employed themselves to take on the cacophonous recording process, for this second LP on In The Red, they've cut it back to just Lars himself, and enlisted ITR house producer, Mike McHugh at the Distillery, to hone the edge of their prowess to it's most powerful point so far. As the possibility of a crossover of industrial and pop music seems as unlikely as a black metal/country conglomeration, on this new album, the Intelligence take the reigns and introduce the world to a whole new spectrum of sonic awareness cleverly buried under little piles of dirt, but with glimmering specks of brilliance poking through to peak interest in even the most boring personalities. The power of repetition looms triumphant within each Intelligence record to date and this is no exception, but with it's fringeless presence on this new album, it works to it's full advantage better than we could have ever hoped. Whereas sometimes you could only previously hum along with the vocal patterns as they wove between the hypnotically magnetic song structures, the McHugh production elevates the vocals and minimizes the overall noise to cut straight to the bone, and intensifies the whole experience to capture the hidden pop serum and bleeds it out magnanimously into the pleasure receptors for a thrilling and unique tonal accomplishment that would make any parent proud, and any real punker stop in their tracks.
The sole cover song on the album, "Block Of Ice" by Thee Oh Sees is still unreleased in it's original template, despite borrowing lyrics from Can/Red Krayola, making this possibly one of the first three-way cover songs ever unleashed on the public. The song is a bonafide hit and it's safe to say that it's a heart-pounding monster that you won't soon forget, regardless of which version you warm up to first. Deuteronomy solidifies the Intelligence more than any of their previous albums have managed, and the production certainly plays a big part, but in the end, it's Lars' songwriting ability that is undeniable in retrospect, and although it's several years into their luminous career, it gives us great warmth to know that there's so much more to come. If you still need convincing, take it from the hordes of French admirers and pilferers who have already been dissecting the Intelligence for the past five years and have spawned their own sounds from its sturdy carcass of inspiration with great results, surely locking Lars in to a position of Ambassadorship in the creatively fertile French Underground.
Tonight in Portland at Slabtown, come out and celebrate the record release of Deuteronomy with a great show featuring support from Meth Teeth, I'm In A Boat, and Here Comes A Big Black Cloud along with the Intelligence, and pick up the new album right from the band or right HERE.
check out a video clip of The Intelligence live at Chop Suey in Seattle earlier this year, courtesy of liveyetv, right here...