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Album Review

Given that Lars Finberg quit the A Frames to concentrate on the Intelligence, and that Deuteronomy is the first Intelligence album to be recorded in an honest-to-goodness studio with a producer, Finberg could be accused of taking his music seriously. However, listening to Deuteronomy proves this isn't the case — the ever-so-slightly cleaner sonics just make it a clearer glimpse into Finberg's frenetic imagination. On "Moon Beeps," gurgling keyboards give way to gargantuan riffs with a dynamic impact that wouldn't have been possible on previous Intelligence albums. Other than that, however, Finberg's approach hasn't really changed significantly since Boredom and Terror (like that album, Deuteronomy is the work of Finberg alone), but that's a good thing. The Intelligence's melodies are so immediate, so relentless, they'd be jingles if they weren't drenched in prickly distortion and gooey, swampy reverb and sung by what sounds like a pissed-off android. Unlike the buzzsaw thrills of Boredom and Terror and Icky Baby, on Deuteronomy Finberg slows the tempo down just a little bit and gets a lot more eclectic. "Dating Cops" stomps in on a sped-up riff nicked from the Peter Gunn or Dragnet theme songs; "Rooms & Bags" sways and shuffles like cyber-rockabilly in a jukebox from the future; and "Outer Echelon"'s herky-jerky new wave could be a transmission from The Forbidden Zone. The Intelligence's music has never been as gleefully, unrepentantly weird as it is on Deuteronomy — even compared to his In the Red compadres, Finberg's vision is pretty out-there, and delivered with a campy sense of fun that has been beaten out of much experimental and underground music. What to make of a frat-rock stomp with lyrics that go "I don't want to be destroyed/All I want is to lay on this block of ice"? It's probably best just to enjoy the sonic fun house that it — and the rest of Deuteronomy — provides.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Combining jagged new wave and no wave-inspired beats, guitars, and keyboards with downright poppy melodies and a wry outlook, the Intelligence is the brainchild of Lars Finberg. While living in Seattle, he played in some of that city's noisiest, weirdest bands, including the A Frames, Unnatural Helpers, and the Dipers. The Intelligence began in 1999, shortly after Finberg, Min Yee, and Erin Sullivan formed the A Frames (who were called Bend Sinister at the time). Finberg recorded the Intelligence's...
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Deuteronomy, The Intelligence
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