Everybody's Got It Easy But Me

Everybody's Got It Easy But Me

Hold on here: This is Seattle’s Lars Finberg? Formerly of A-Frames? After a moment of head-scratching, we confirm positive ID and plunge ahead. Finberg’s Intelligence is easily turning out some of the most unique rock records of late, and Everybody’s Got It Easy but Me solidifies the band’s standing. There are a number of bemusing—if not baffling—moments here. Before getting to his trademark jagged, seesaw guitar, Finberg agonizingly counts to 44 in the middle of the relaxed, Casio-driven “I Like L.A.” (Why? And why 44?) The cover of ‘60s pop star Del Shannon’s “Little Town Flirt”—featuring Shannon Shaw of Shannon & The Clams—is sweet and oddly straightforward. There are a good number of midtempo songs that were seemingly crafted in place of the hyper, garage-punk noise that drove the last few Intelligence records. “Sunny Backyard” reaches back to a more experimental, abrasive Finberg, with a screechy, thudding tune about summer in the backyard. “Hippy Provider” has all the juicy new wave sass of “My Sharona.” Just expect the unexpected, and you’ll be fine.

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