|Malkmus, Stephen & The Jicks / Sparkle Hard|
|Add Date:||2018-07-04|| ||Pull Date:||2018-09-05|| |
|Week Ending:||2 Sep||26 Aug||19 Aug||12 Aug||5 Aug||29 Jul||22 Jul||15 Jul|
Sparkle Hard / Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks|
Label: Sub Pop
Seventh Studio album from Malkmus, of Pavement fame. This album has all the catchy pop sensibilities that characterize the best of bands like Spoon, Parquet Courts and Beirut, the maturity of songwriting you expect from an indie rock elder statesman, and plenty of dissonance for Pavement/Malkmus fans. Timely, with plenty of lyrical #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo nods. Are Malkmus and Tweedy drinking together these days? Sounds like it.
FCCs: #5, #11
RIYL: Pavement, Spoon, Parquet Courts, Silver Jews, Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon, Pixies, Wilco
1. Cast Off (2:54) - solo piano melodies and quiet lyrics punctuated by big epic Pavement-style chorus with soaring psych-ey guitar and crashy drums.
2. *** Future Suite (2:43) - Punchy mid-tempo with fuzz-free staccato guitar reminiscent of Parquet Courts latest. Proggy guitar solos and layered vocal choruses. Satisfying.
3. ** Solid Silk (4:37) - Lazy, airy 70's easy listening rock take. Lots of strings accompanying vocal walks. There's a nice summer backyard feel to this one.
4. *** Bike Lane (3:34) - Driving, Buzzing, Kraut rhythm reminiscent of Sonic Youth from the "Goo" period. Lyrically, taking on the Freddie Gray murder by police, head on. Might be a commentary on gentrification? Malkmus gets serious with the Sonic Youth sound.
5. FCC Middle America (3:31) FCC (shithead, piss)- Malkmus does a great Wilco, here. Acoustic based mid-tempo strummer. Too bad about the FCCs, this is a great tune.
6. ** Rattler (3:08) - Mid-tempo, off-tune acoustic/electric erratic wonderfulness. Probably the Pavement fans favorite on the album. Nice strings and some weird auto-tuning sneaks in.
7. *** Shiggy (3:16) - Mid-tempo, Black Francis-esque number rocks your socks off from the get go. Deep fuzzy guitars, driving beat and backup vocal shouts that will delight Pixies fans.
8. Kite (6:41) - Starts as an airy acoustic number. Actually feels like a kite dancing about on a breeze, then goes mid-tempo wah-wah funk rocker.
9. ** Brethren (2:51) - Low-fi mid-tempo acoustic off-tune strummer. Nice little string refrain. Simple and punchy . More slight auto-tuning, but just enough to make you say, "WTF is that there for?"
10. ** Refute (3:24) - Full on Country & Western tune with fiddle, lap steel and everything! Also, has Kim Gordon <3, so there's that, too.
11. FCC Difficulties - Let Them Eat Vowels (7:03) FCC (fuck) - Two songs in one track: Stringy, soaring an breathy until 3:20 when it fades out, then back in as a fuzzy funky rocker. FCC is in the second half/song, Let Them Eat Vowels, which is the half I like best.