Articles tagged with Sunset Rubdown

Moonface – “Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips”

Moonface with Siinai
Last year, Moonface put on one of the best shows I’ve seen in recent memory. Read the review over at Exclaim!, and also read my album review and my preview of his upcoming With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery.

Speaking of that new album, the song “Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips” is below. Looks like Spencer Krug ditched the long-form style.

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Dragonslayer battles preconceptions

Spencer Krug is quickly becoming a Canadian indie rock legend, but this status comes at the price of unrealistically high expectations. As a member of Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade, Swan Lake, and Frog Eyes, he’s released so many outstanding albums in the past five years that it’s tough to judge any new material on its own merits. So although Sunset Rubdown’s latest, Dragonslayer, is yet another solid release, it’s hard not to feel disappointed that it doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by Apologies to the Queen Mary or Shut Up I Am Dreaming.

Dragonslayer follows in the footsteps of recent albums by Wolf Parade and Swan Lake by stripping back the studio trickery in favour of a more organic sound. Much of the album was recorded live off the floor, placing the emphasis on the band’s performance rather than the production. But despite the simplified sonics, the songs themselves are as intricate as ever, with twisting structures and cryptic lyrics. Opener “Silver Moons” is a song that only Krug could have written, with a piano plunking out a baffling time signature and an inscrutable refrain of “Silver moons belong to you.”

There are no duds on Dragonslayer, but the trouble is that there aren’t really any knockouts either. There’s nothing here that’s likely to get under your skin in the same way that “I’ll Believe in Anything” or “Stadiums and Shrines II” did. The closest Krug gets to matching those past triumphs is “Black Swan,” which follows the Nirvana-patented quiet/loud/quiet formula with sparse, percussive verses interspersed by heavily distorted rock-outs. But despite being one of the nosiest, most immediate moments of Krug’s career, it still lacks the ethereal brilliance of his best work.

Dragonslayer is out June 23 via Jagjaguwar.
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You gotta move your idiot body around

On June 23, Sunset Rubdown will release its fourth full-length album, Dragonslayer (no word if that refers to slaying a dragon or laying multiple dragons). The first single is called “Idiot Heart,” and Jagjaguwar is offering it as a free download. Rather than the weirdo piano dirges than make up much of Krug’s output, the new song is straight-up guitar rock, recalling the more earthy delights of Krug’s sometimes songwriting partner Dan Boeckner. There is some gentle tinkling from what sounds like a toy piano, but for the most part, the song favours immediacy over atmosphere, with steadily chugging guitars and a thundering rhythm section.

Of course, Krug’s lyrics are as oblique as ever, with cryptic allusions to “The Icarus in your blood.” Even so, “Idiot Heart” is as close as Krug will ever get to writing a song that can be described as “fun.” It doesn’t quite match up to the haunting otherworldliness of his best work, but it’s still well worth the listen.

mp3: “Idiot Heart”
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