The Intelligence has been making off-kilter garage rock records for a decade now, and that started with 2004's Boredom and Terror, now reissued by In the Red.
The Intelligence has been making off-kilter garage rock records for a decade now, and that started in 2004 with Boredom and Terror. Now, In the Red has reissued the band's debut, and we get to see the strange, scraped-out, industrial beginnings of the group's sound. These songs strip away the muscle of garage-rock fuzz and deal only in bone and sinew. "The World Is a Drag" drifts through hazy guitars and white-noise vocals, with melting bass lines, and if the pieces are simple the effect is surprising. The same is true of the noise-pop chaos of "Spellers and Counters", the skronky rumble of "The Universe", or the psych-pop leanings of the title track. Boredom and Terror pulls at the restraints of genre, of fidelity, of expectation, and even if the sound is stripped down, its effect is still narcotic. The reissue includes companion album Let's Toil, the noisier more rebellious cousin to Boredom and Terror. Together, they show a band that started from some alien place, somewhere outside of those garages the band's contemporaries were playing in. They found similar ground, but the Intelligence was more interested in the cracks in the path than where it was going on this debut, an album well worth revisiting.