Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Spoon – 'Rent I Pay'

Spoon are fundamentally a rock'n'roll band. Generally, I can't stand rock'n'roll's boozy good-time glow, its recycling of songwriting tropes, its leaning on bluesy riffs and classic rock posturing. So why do I love Spoon so much?

They tread a fine line, that's for sure, between cutting loose and holding back. In their new single 'Rent I Pay', the chorus gets a bit cringeingly pub-rock – the line "That's what my brother would say", doubled by the backing vocals, being the prime culprit – but there's that Spoon rhythmic jag to the song that not only keeps it afloat, but renders it pretty damned crankable. 'Cos prime Spoon is, if nothing else, all about tense, meticulously produced momentum and hip-snapping swagger. Everything locks in and charges on, dragging you behind it, panting.

'Rent I Pay' isn't doing anything particularly unique in Spoon's discography, but the production hand of Dave Fridmann nudges all the instruments into the red, giving the whole song an overdriven glow that suits Spoon down to the ground, especially as this is one of their songs where Britt Daniel's voice (The Best Voice in Rock'n'Roll Bar None TM) is at its limits, controlled but straining into its golden, throaty glory.

Spoon are a rare beast – a singles band and an albums band. Their new album They Want My Soul (due on Loma Vista in August) is eagerly awaited by my earholes. This will do nicely for now.

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