I always imagine ten-pin bowling competitions to be really boring. They basically wait for their opponent to slip up slightly and not get a strike. If Spoon was your opponent you just know that they aren’t going to slip up any time soon judging by their last five bowls and you’re in for a long night. They are such a solid band. Even if you search their back catalogue for a sign of weakness expecting to find a Pablo Honey, you wont. Their style has changed over the years but they make consistently good albums. Gimme Fiction, their fifth full-length album, is yet another strike from Britt Daniel and the boys from Texas.
I think what makes it so refreshingly different from all the other bands we hear today is its musical composition. It’s nothing too experimental but the emphasis is on rhythm and bass rather than lead guitar. The drums run the show coming in heavy and loud and do so much more than merely provide a backbone for a song. Britt’s vocals fit in perfectly with this rhythm, he seems so into this beat often dropping in the odd ‘yeah, alright’ in between versus.
Standout tracks include Mathematical Mind, a fantastic song that rolls along on a piano bass line and slowly builds to a cacophony of drums and symbols, with Britt’s guitar stuttering awkwardly over the top, stabbing erratically. This track was great live as Britt would stagger over to the corner of the stage in his own world hammering furiously at his strings like Richie Cunningham possessed by John Coltrane. Another highlight is I Summon You, one of the more regular acoustic based songs - but again accompanied by some great drumming. What I wouldn’t give to be on a camping trip with Mr Daniel, sat round the fire, bellies full of some grilled wild animal, a couple of brewski’s in hand and Britt reaching over for his well travelled beat up old acoustic guitar, “D’ya know this one?” he asks as I slowly drift off to sleep to the hypnotic strumming of I Summon You. Perfect.