More than most bands shuffling around the indie circuit, Austin’s erstwhile Spoon (frontman Britt Daniel now resides in Portland) usually understands the value of tension and space. On their latest effort Transference, though, that value is practically thrown out the window. And it’s not sorely missed. All the hallmarks are still there: Daniel’s roughed-up, twangy croon still dominates the scene, but it’s much busier than before. The riffs are simple and distinct, even stark, but they collapse together in a musical mess at the drop of a metronome.
Oddly enough, Transference doesn’t feel like a regression, but a return to Spoon’s roots. It’s not as immediately accessible as the pop bombast of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, but it works well as a return to old school Spoon. It’s haphazard, punky and full of caustic, deiant spirit. It’s more “Helter Skelter” than “Revolution 9.”
Download: “Written in Reverse”