As much as I like the bam-bam rock, what keeps punk interesting is the weirdness of the music. After hearing some of the Intelligence’s 7” singles I finally got to pick up their full-lengths and see them play live. I’ve heard the more undefinable or minimal bands called art punk or math rock, but that always made me think of that middle school pressure to not be smart if you want to be cool. Whatever you want to call it, the Intelligence are in the classic style of the Urinals, the Fall, the Residents, Butthole Surfers, or the Boredoms, with moody speeds and a contagious sound. It’s not that these bands sound alike, it’s that sometimes I don’t want one to four to be a straight line. It’s all catchy, biting, and even danceable. The heart of the Intelligence is Lars Finberg, also of the A-Frames and the Dipers, playing with various other members. Now the sound has expanded and sped up some with two of the Popular Shapes (Calvin on bass and Nicholas on guitar) joining the band, and Matthew Ford playing drums. Catchy jabs and spooky soundtracks, singable lyrics and ear-ringing guitars, this album layers the inventive minimalism with more fuzz and energy. The cherry on top: we saw them play a killer show with the Orphans and the Tyrades, and the guys are super cool people.
–mike (In the Red)