From the first tub thumps of the drums into the guitar sludge on the opening track, you know you’re in for a good ride on this, the long-awaited new album from Boise’s “indie” vets, Built To Spill, led by their mainstay, Doug Martsch. Crisp production, sonic guitar interplay and punchy vocals make this a satisfying listen through the ten tracks.
The starter, “All Our Songs” has a rollicking gallop; a strident pace with a frenetic guitar strum that plays perfectly with the frenzied solo guitar figures that weave around the melody and the bassline – a rock & roll call to arms; “Living Zoo” is angular and tense but catchy, with a lot of twin guitar assault until the bouncy melody kicks in with the vocals and “On The Way” sounds like The Shins may have learned a thing or two from this band… (!) “Never Be The Same” is radio-friendly pop with a slightly sinister edge; “Another Day” sounds like it would be a companion to something off Dinosaur Jr.’s Bug and “Horizon To Cliff” is textured, slow and delicious.
This band has been around for around 23 years and why they aren’t mega-stars is beyond me – but then again, aren’t all truly great bands criminally overlooked? That they still put out consistently fine, well-thought albums is a joy. And with age, Built To Spill have only gotten better.
Untethered Moon is available now