Alt is as alt does
Andy Huxley is the brains behind Vile Imbeciles, although the five piece that make up the band from Manchester on this album obviously all contribute to the off kilter rhythms and jagged guitars. Huxley makes a point of saying in the oddly apologetic press release that you may not understand the record and that comparisons may wrongly be made to Mike Patton. It's not a case of understanding; it's all about personal taste when you're dealing with a record that is trying to push you away. This is an intentionally quirky album, it doesn't flow in any sense of the word, it doesn't engage with melody or steady beats but isn't that the point of it? To attempt to challenge by forcing people to furrow their brows and consider it, oh, and also, there is a Mike Patton comparison to be made but it's debateable that Vile Imbeciles are more subtle, just less mainstream, more indie and less melodic.
Although it's often genre resistant, in some respects the album doesn't live up to the quirk factor, just because all the tracks are so similar, the whole record is stop/start, awkward guitars and drums, no snatches of melody sneak out to pull you in, and the wonky, breathy, slightly whiney vocals unfortunately are very much an acquired taste that you'll either love or hate, I'm afraid I was in the later category on that score.
There are some moments that are interesting and some that work. 'Bertie Lean' is probably the best of them, a heavier approach, slightly reminiscent of Blood Brothers but not as tightly structured; like all the songs on the album it sounds organically formed, loosely held together and on the verge of a nervous breakdown.