KTW vs. ETC: The Spinto Band – Moonwink
A versus by Ernessa T. Carter and Kyle T. Wilson
Indie band out Wilmington, Delaware. Do they make more of an impact than the second smallest state in the country? Let’s find out.
First the album for your listening convenience:
Then Kyle’s Take:
There’s a lot of great new music out this week, folks. One of my favorite noiserock outfits, Deerhoof, has released a new album called Offend Maggie. And if you know me you know I’m crazy about Antony and the Johnsons; they have a new EP out just in time for an appearance at Disney Hall next Tuesday. I’m also really curious about Margot and the Nuclear So-and-Sos, who are apparently in a spat with Epic over the cut of their new album, Animal. It’s so bad that they’ve released their version on their website as Animal and are calling Epic’s version Not Animal. If I were feeling remotely ambitious, I would’ve suggested we go all out with Margot and do a compare-and-contrast of their two albums. Unfortunately my trolling-for-music started late last night, thanks to some phone-banking that ETC and I did to squash Proposition 8′s ever-lovin guts out. As a result I’ve settled on The Spinto Band’s new release, Moonwink, and I’m glad because I’ve been bouncing around to it all day.
I discovered while doing some Googling about the band that they toured in 2006 with Art Brut and We Are Scientists. When I read this it made a certain sense, as upon first listen I wondered if they didn’t have the same kind of fun yet disposable qualities that Art Brut and We Are Scientists have for me. I bought both of those CDs, but I have no idea where they are now. Maybe I sold them to Amoeba.
The Spinto Band sounds more promising. Nick Krill’s vocals remind me of about a dozen different singers and no one in particular, but his marble-mouthed crooning and judicious use of falsetto are a sharp focal point of their poppier sounds (almost the whole album), and when they want to rock out, they don’t hesitate to do so (as in the guitar breaks for “Carnival” and “The Cat’s Pajamas”). Personal favorites are “Vivian, Don’t” — as much for the title as the “aye-yaye-yaye-yaye”s in the vocals — and “The Black Flag,” which, although I got the vaguest hint of “Hot Hot Heat” from that track on second listen, it was the “Hot Hot Heat” of the 2003 debut album that was the soundtrack of my summer that year, so I consider that a good thing. And besides, it has an infectious chorus that I’ve been singing in my head ever since the first listen, even if I don’t really know what’s being sung.
While we’re on the subject, I’m also fond of the almost whispered vocals and narrative writing of “They All Laughed,” especially since that song contains the album’s most discernible text. These guys are obviously tricksters; I went to the liner notes to try and make out the lyrics only to find a pastiche called “words (in order of appearance),” which is clearly incomplete and reads like a stream-of-consciousness prose poem. The whole thing makes me want to sit down with a pair of earphones so I can let it sink in and make more sense of it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find it as disposable as whatever the last pop/punk flavor-of-the-month was, but I have high hopes.
Something tells me Ernessa’s going to kick my ass over this one, but I dunno. If not, you wanna go see them at the Echoplex next month?
And Finally Ernessa’s Take:
The sad thing is that I like the new Deerhoof album and was somewhat intrigued by the Margot and the Nuclear So-and-Sos. I tend to loathe Antony and the Johnsons, because it always feels like Antony is trying too hard to look like he’s not trying to hard. But “Shake the Devil” off the new EP is (almost) listenable.
Kyle, I’m not going to kick you ass over The Spinto Band, but I do find it funny that I hate all of the songs that you love, with the exception of “Black Flag.” Wait, “hate” is too strong. It’s more that I find them completely uninteresting. Nick Krill’s vocals just don’t inspire anything in me.
In fact the whole album seems like so much background music, with only a few stand-outs other than “The Black Flag” in my opin: “Ain’t This The Truth,” “Later On,” and the slight register, “Pumpkins & Paisley.”
I think you guys will have to solve this stalemate for us. Let us know which songs you like/are bored by in the comments.