This week’s reviews: Spoon, Spider Bags, The Rosebuds


Spoon – They Want My Soul (2014, Loma Vista)

The most hyped up album was Spoon‘s They Want My Soul.  This is the first album since 2010’s Transference and their first album on Loma Vista. One of the best ways to describe Spoon is “consistent.” Each of their releases are good and this one is no exception.


One of the themes of this album seems to be success.  As the lush pianos sprinkle across the melody of “Inside Out,” Daniel sings “I don’t make time for holy rollers…They do not make me complete.”  In the title track, Daniel sings “Card sharks and street creatures want my soul.” Later in the song, he adjusts his predator and exclaims, “Educated folk singers want my soul.”  Spoon is one of those bands with such a steady output; it is easy to desire the secret to their success.


In “Do You” and “Rainy Taxi,” the band addresses relationships, leaving, and moving on. Most of the songs are verse/chorus/verse and there are opportunities for head-bobbing and foot-tapping, especially in the album’s closing track “New York Kiss.”  The song in particular stuck out to me as an old school attempt to capture a New York nightlife full of kisses on dirty side streets and all-night binges. However in the end, Daniel realizes the streetlamps fade and it just becomes a distant memory.

While I’ve had a hard time loving any Spoon album as much as 2001’s Girls Can Tell and 2005’s Gimme Fiction (both on Merge), this latest album does have worthy songs and further proves how consistent this band is.


Recommended Tracks: “They Want My Soul,” “Do You,” “New York Kiss”


Spider Bags – Frozen Letter (2014, Merge)

Merge is a roll this year. The latest release from the label is Spider BagsFrozen Letter. As the band’s fourth release, it is a strong one. They are not just a punk band. Lyrically, the songs express familiar emotions like rebellion, angst, and discomfort and melodically speaking, they adapt a variety of genres. It also has one of the best opening tracks of the year.

While many of their songs are hard/fast/strong, they utilize ska melodies (in “Japanese Vacation”) and arena rock guitar solos (in “Chem Trails”). “Coffin Car” has a simple guitar and echoing voice of a 1960s blues song. “We Got Problems” seems influenced by Jack White. “Walking Bubble,” the second to last track, is an acoustic song influenced by country melodies (and religious motifs).

Overall, the album hits the mark on a variety of points while maintaining a bit of disorder. This band is poised to enter the field of throwback punk bands (like Japandroids, PUP and Joyce Manor) and come out on top.

Recommended Tracks: “Back With You Again in the World” (the opening track), “Japanese Vacation,” and “Summer of 79” (cowbell!)


The Rosebuds – Sand + Silence (2014, Western Vinyl)

The Rosebuds Sand + Silence is the latest release from this North Carolina-based band. I was a big fan of their 2003 release Rosebuds Make Out and 2008 release Like Life. The Rosebuds started as a project of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp, who were dating at the time. The two broke up years ago and the band ventured on.

This latest album would lend well to a road trip.  Ivan Howard’s vocals in the opening track “In My Teeth” set the stage for lyrically hopeful album. “Give Me One Reason” is very dark and describes heartbreak. The tempo swiftly speeds up in “Blue Eyes.” “Mine Mine” emits a 1960’s doo-woop vibe. The album feels slightly unsure and Howard is at the front. He makes a great effort.Recommended Tracks: “Walking” (for it’s upbeat melody)


One response to “This week’s reviews: Spoon, Spider Bags, The Rosebuds

  1. Pingback: A Look Back at 2014: Top 10 Albums of the Year | borrowed nostalgia·

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