Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hey Paul, lets kick Clarence out of the band...

I wanted to sit down and write a review of the new Sunset Rubdown record - Random Spirit Lover - but I found it really hard to come up with the words. I really dig the record but I don't think this is the kind of record you can jump into after a few listens, especially when the record isn't due out until October. The record, on first pass, has some sonic explosions and some beautiful quirky moments, and I think by the time it's actually released, I'll find the words to describe it properly.

Instead, I started thinking about how the Wolf Parade hiatus has left a very interesting dichotomy between the two members. On one hand, you have Spencer Krug. Here's a young man consumed by writing songs. He's prolific and I think very critical of his work, where as Dan seems ok to write songs when he is motivated by his artistic visions. Krug's more into whimsical, mystical lyrics supplemented by meticulous arrangements, where every note seems to have been thought out and perfected. It's a complete contrast the sparse beats and textures Dan used on the Handsome Furs effort. Dan's album focused on a concept, and he built his vision around it. His pessimistic view of the world is more crucial than the electronic sounds that accompany them.

The relationship between the two is very similar to that between Paul and John. While obviously, Wolf Parade doesn’t add up to the Beatles, I found it fun to try to analyze the similarities. Obviously, Krug falls more into the McCartney realm, using whatever instrument he can find, and his tendency to create magical characters. Random Spirit Lover unveils layer after layer, with new wrinkles fading in and out of the headphones constantly. I've read that early reviews talking about Krug's stream of consciousness, but I don't get that at all. He mixes in light melodies with walls of sound and his trademark vocals (Up on Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days) and tries so many different styles and sounds that you get the distinct impression he actually wants to be great and leave his mark on the music world.

I don't get that from Dan, and that's not a bad thing. His working class, artistic ideas are more in line (and we will ignore the fact his new band features his fiancé) with Lennon's solo style. The most interesting thing is that like Paul and John, they really worked better together. No matter how much you like either artist's solo work, chances are the combination of both styles impresses you more. Hearing Spencer's latest gets me even more excited for the Wolf Parade show here in September (@ Richards on the 7th).
MP3:: Winged/Wicked Things (Daytrotter)

Posted at 1:00 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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