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


About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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