Give Me a Wall was released this past Tuesday domestically, after the usual hype-building lag. Apparently, now that it’s here, being dubbed this year’s British buzz-band means sounding like this year’s Artic Monkeys. Older listeners will hear Robert Smith fronting Gang of Four in ¡Forward Russia!, while younger fans will hear (insert name of favorite overreaching emo luminary) fronting Bloc Party. These revved-up Leeds lads (and lass) really put their money where their math rock is by giving all their songs numerical titles. Literally, some favorite numbers here are “Nine,” “Twelve” and “Eighteen,” none of which has any numerological bearing on the tracks’ lyrics. Even the repeated “1-2-3-4” count-ins on “Sixteen” don’t add up to the integer in question. Like Franz Ferdinand and the Killers, ¡Forward Russia! ain’t afraid of Moogin’ up the guitars they stole from post-punk. But the group’s polyphonic touch owes more to Yes than the Cars, and with lyrics like “It’s another obsidian bloodbath” or “Pyrite trickles down the spines of those without their enemies,” these ¡forward! thinkers may be pointing to a prog-rock detour for the post-punk revival. So get ’em while the angst is hot, and say you knew them in their single and double digits days.
Serene Dominic writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].