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CD Review: Sunset Rubdown's "Random Spirit Lover"

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Artist: Sunset Rubdown
Album: Random Spirit Lover
Label: Jagjaguwar
Release Date: October 9th, 2007

Sunset Rubdown is the brainchild of Spencer Krug, member of major indie band Wolf Parade, and seemingly half a dozen other outfits. Instead of the pseudo-dance rock of Wolf Parade, we have a much more lyrically-driven product in Sunset Rubdown. Krug's curious copious screeds are lengthy and complex, and run the gamut of fable-telling ("The Mending of the Gown") to nearly metaphysical musings on time ("For the Pier (and Dead Shimmering)").

After a few songs I found the avalanche of words to be a bit too much, but the thankfully brief and perfect "Colt Stands Up, Grows Horns" shows that Krug knows how to be short and sweet. Initially, something about Krug's trilling voice, the dashes of harpsichord, and other foppish flavourings reminded me of the pack of minstrels that follow Sir Robin around in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But this feeling passed about half-way through the CD, because there is some epic storytelling going on here.

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Don't be confused by the minstrelism - these are not happy-go-lucky tunes; there may be humor in some of them, but they are introspective and moody and peer out of a cold and dark Montreal where the album was recorded this last January. I was in Montreal myself this January, and goddam if it wasn't cold and dark. There's something to be said for Canadian radio: they play lots of cool and ecclectic stuff, and this album from Sunset Rubdown is sure to be broadcast all over the provinces - until this album hits US college radio, you'll have to do with the below track (and hold tight until they come to LA: 10/19/07 at the El Rey Theatre).

Sunset Rubdown - "Up On Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days"

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