Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Divine Fits: "A Thing Called Divine Fits" (album review)

It's darn near impossible to talk about Divine Fits without resorting to the term Supergroup.  Trust me, I've tried.  Realizing it's not worth the effort, I've decided to just give in.

The Supergroup, comprised of Spoon's Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner, and members of New Bomb Turks, release their debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, on August 28th.

It's the Spoon influence that wins more often than not.  "Flaggin' A Ride" is a typical Spoon track with a layer of Handsome Furs sleaziness drizzled on top.  A few little flairs are all that keep "Would That Not Be Nice" from being a Spoon outtake.

The electronics play a large role on the record.  That's not always a good thing.  The beats on "My Love Is Real" are puffy, but the song has no edge to it.  "The Salton Sea" is a tinny synth number.  When it works though, the results can be remarkable.  "Civilian Stripes" would be a dull dark prog number if it were not for the skittering synth.

With Boeckner and Daniel splitting the singing duties, it does provide an opportunity to keep things fresh.  Of course they are two of the most deadpan singers around, so the most is not really made of that opportunity.  "Shivers" is the only track that really comes close to offering emotional range in the vocals.

Boeckner does come through with the hook-filled pop number "Baby Get Worse".  Even though "Like Ice Cream" lifts its intro guitar line from "Honky Tonk Women", it is good to hear guitars front and centre for a change.

Divine Fits are sure to cause huge waves among indie rock fans.  However, those waves will be a result of who they are and where they come from rather than a result of the music they make together.

Divine Fits play Lee's Palace in Toronto on September 5th.

Best tracks: "Civilian Stripes", "Like Ice Cream"

Track listing for A Thing Called Divine Fits:
  • My Love Is Real
  • Flaggin' A Ride
  • What Gets You Alone
  • Would That Not Be Nice
  • The Salton Sea
  • Baby Get Worse
  • Civilian Stripes
  • For Your Heart
  • Shivers
  • Like Ice Cream
  • Neopolitans

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