Friday, 23 November 2007



For the longest time Spoon were the best kept secret in alternative rock as they consistently put out strong release after release without too much in the way of fanfare that might serve to ruin their spirit or allow it all to go to their heads.  In many ways they were the perfectly formed unit.

This EP was released in the UK on the 12XU label run by Gerard Cosloy with the name obviously borrowed from the Wire song title.  With such a name it conjures up a post-punk sensibility which is a movement/bracket I guess Spoon could fit into (a band having taken their own name from a Can album) but ultimately their output is much more tuneful, possibly even leaning towards to pop in its execution.  Theirs is a very adult sound in an Elvis Costello manner.

“The Way We Get By” is one of the band’s stand out numbers.  With its playful key opening it boasts a sense of swing that is sadly so allusive in modern guitar music, this is classic stuff.  Then it lurches forward into motion.  By the time it reaches the chorus the listener is sold as the desperation of the piece resonates while accompanying personal victory.

This has always been a stand out Spoon tracks being one that relies so heavily on the piano line.  Personally for me it hit hardest when suddenly it appeared on the soundtrack of Stranger Than Fiction.  This was a very emotional time for me as it was a movie I was watching on an early date with a girl I had high hopes for so obviously it came at a moment when I was becoming thoroughly wrapped up in proceedings.  In the end though this song remains with me long after said lady has left my life.

Elsewhere stacked on the release are six live radio performances in addition to three music videos that you are unlikely to see on MTV.

The radio performances originate from four sessions recorded in 2001 and 2002 at stations in both the UK and America.  Included are covers of The La’s “I Am The Key” (albeit not a great song) and the great “Me And The Bean” by lesser known band The Sidehackers.  The pick of the bunch is the breezy drive through of “Anticipation”.

This is a great band no doubt.  Don’t let the crow on the cover mislead you.

Thesaurus moment: ripe.

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