"Well I say it's just smoke"
Haven't done this in a bit, but this is well worth dusting off the old SOTW trophy for...
Various Artists - Firecracker EP 03 (Firecracker)
Okay, before the pedants have a shit-fit, I'm fully aware that this was released last week. I was a bit slow on it though. I picked it up today and wanted to bring it to your attention. This is a three-track EP (four tracks if you count the skit at the beginning of side B) that's just come from out of nowhere to be, according to Piccadilly Records, "THE underground hit of the summer". They're waxing hyperbole of course, but this is insanely good.
On the flip, there are two wildly different tracks from Linkwood and Fudge Fingas and His Fidgety Friends (no, I'm not making this up), the Linkwood one being a deep, soulful downtempo number, while Fudge Fingas and co. weigh in with a nice reggae mini-jam. The A-side is where it's at though. Linkwood Family's 'Peace Of Mind' is a smart, tricksy, party-starting discoid banger, full of soul-drenched, choral vocal snippets, a killer b-line and an overall good-time vibe that's impossible to resist. Get it while you can as it's extremely limited. You won't regret it.
And now for something completely different... Having all but cut American indie rock out of my diet after a succession of disappointing albums from some of the scene's leading lights (Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Wilco et al), along comes a new Sunset Rubdown album to renew my faith. However, Random Spirit Lover just highlights how special a songwriter Spencer Krug really is and how most of the more highly regarded mopes have nothing on him.
Krug can melt your heart with grotesquerie and that's no mean feat. Say what you will about Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes frontman whom Krug is said to imitate by some), but I find his songs to be too studied and calculated, whilst Krug exudes a charm and a feel for instinct that Mercer lacks. Songs like 'Winged/Wicked Things' and 'The Taming Of The Hands That Came Back To Life' display a carefree, childlike spirit that elevates Krug above most, if not all his peers. Now I'm really looking forward to that Wolf Parade follow-up.
Sunset Rubdown - Winged/Wicked Things (mp3)
In other news: I am owning High Voltage this week, with five (count 'em!) reviews on the front page. Click through to find out what I think of albums by GoodBooks, The Strange Death Of Liberal England and Chicane and singles from The Cribs and Lightspeed Champion.