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The Intelligence 

Deuteronomy (In the Red)

Wednesday, Nov 14 2007
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From the first 7-inch released in 2000 to this most recent effort, the Intelligence has essentially operated as a rotating door for freakishly talented musicians drawn to Lars Finberg's jagged approach to hyperactive postpunk. Previous incarnations of the Seattle band have included members of the Popular Shapes and the Shins, while the Deuteronomy live band lineup includes Country Teasers bassist Kaanan Tupper on drums and Finberg's girlfriend, Suzanna Welbourne, lending vocals and pounding out bass chords on a Korg keyboard. On record, however, the show is strictly run by Finberg, who plays every instrument with all the mad glee and pop-pocked brashness that has earned him a devoted cult following. Deuteronomy is slightly cleaner sonically than previous efforts, but that hardly translates to radio-friendly froth. The burbling synthesizers of album opener "Moon Beeps" are quickly bludgeoned by thickly distorted guitar and Finberg's droll cadence (think Mark E. Smith with a brighter sense of humor). Abbreviated, joyous numbers like "Dating Cops" and the rollicking shuffle found on "Rooms and Bags" showcase a sharp sense of melody. Deuteronomy proves no matter how many layers of fuzz Finberg applies to the mix or how much dissonant friction he uses in the execution, some pop hooks are too potent to stay buried.

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Hannah Levin

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