Although I love 'em for sticking so heroically to their concept, I must report that the new one from Art Brut suggests that these talky English post-punks might not be in possession of a bottomless bag of comedy-rock tricks. Art Brut vs. Satan has its highlights, for sure: "The Replacements" is the latest in frontman Eddie Argos's long line of endearing I-love-music reports, while the title of opener "Alcoholics Unanimous" pretty much speaks for itself. Yet as a whole, Art Brut vs. Satan burns at an undeniably lower temperature than the band's first two albums, with the jokes not quite as funny nor the riffs quite as sharp. That said, the Art Brut live show (in town for a five-night run at Mercury Lounge) remains a thing of undiminished beauty; no other band makes a rock gig feel more like the revenge of the nerds.
June 1-5, 8 p.m., 2009