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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Illegal Leak of the Week: Sunset Rubdown, Random Spirit Lover

posted by on August 7 at 11:52 AM


Spencer Krug’s journey towards becoming indie rock’s next all-encompassing Sam Walton continues on October 9 with the release of his third Sunset Rubdown album, Random Spirit Lover. And much like the last great overzealous one, Robert Pollard, Krug’s yet to really fall into an identity crisis between his songwriting efforts for SR, Wolf Parade and Swan Eyes Wolf Frog Lake.

Though his songs certainly meander and shape shift, he’s still dabbling healthily in his usual faves: intricate guitar solos—like the classic rock mega-riff that kick starts Random’s first track—and all varieties of keyboard-aided melody. That is to say, the guy hasn’t reached his world-conga phase yet. The closest he gets to blowing minds is the carnival hop-skip-and-jump of leaked single “Up on Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days,” though really, it’s not too distant from the whistle-riddled glee of the last record’s “They Took a Vote and Said No.”

Though the rest of the unreleased album keeps up Krug’s knack for six-minute mini-epics, “The Courtesan Has Sung” is a standout for being one of the few truly stripped-down tracks. During the percussion-only intro, Krug’s multitracked voice rattles off in rapid-fire fashion: “Think of the scene where washed up actor wipes the makeup off his wife and says ‘morticians must’ve took you for a whore.’” It sounds like an imitation of his old friend Isaac Brock, both in the sing-yelling and the abrupt endings to syllables, but the similarity dries up once Krug starts into a series of awkwardly echoed “whoa-ah-oh”s. As guitars and more vocal oohs kick in, there’s a very welcome return to familiarity: the extra-fuzzed guitars that opened their last LP, Shut Up I Am Dreaming. Save the congas for next year, Spence.

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Swan Lake, not Swan Eyes.

Posted by ? | August 7, 2007 12:40 PM

I believe Black Wolf Swan Eyes Horse is the band you're thinking of...

Posted by Eric Grandy | August 7, 2007 1:11 PM

the name is the black wolf swan eyes horses!!!, actually

Posted by jz | August 7, 2007 2:12 PM

Guys, guys, we've all been wrong.

It's I Love You But I've Chosen Botany. Apologies all around.

Posted by Sam Machkovech | August 7, 2007 4:23 PM

I LOVE this album. "Up On Your Leopard..." and "The Taming of The Hands..." are my favorites so far.

This "review" doesn't make any sense to me though -- do you like it or don't you? Every comment on the album is full of passive statements and references to the last album and/or congas without really saying anything.

Posted by Clifton | August 7, 2007 9:17 PM

Dunno about the others 'round these parts, but I'm hesitant to offer an ironclad review for an album that only leaked about a week or so ago. Call it an informed first impression.

Still, if you want my "so far" opinion, I think that the disc kinda drags at parts--beautiful swaths of melody that don't exactly go anywhere, with a few standout tracks to otherwise break it up. But, again, I still need more time with the album; the material is gorgeous enough to earn repeated listens, so I'm hoping for a grower here.

Posted by Sam Machkovech | August 7, 2007 11:59 PM

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