The Intelligence Fake Surfers

Seattle multi-instrumentalist Lars Finberg has been recording damaged, lo-fi garage jams under the Intelligence moniker since 1999. Fake Surfers, his fifth LP with the project, shows him at his best, having honed the Intelligence sound to pitch perfect garage pop. Opener "Fake Surfers" sets the record off on a moody, disjointed note with its distant hum and lack of structure. It's a strange song to open with, as the album quickly shifts gears to up-tempo pop songs. "Debt & ESP" is a mid-paced, Devo-esque stomper, while "Universal Babysitter" is some sort of blues/surf hybrid. Elsewhere, "Pony People" and "Warm Transfers" let acoustic guitars drive their melodies, while the aggressive "Fuck Eat Skull" (based on a pseudo-beef with the band Eat Skull) is all noisy guitar and haggard breakdowns. Drenched in Finberg's murky, paranoia-inducing production, this is a fitting addition to In The Red's growing canon of perfectly weird garage pop. (In The Red)