May 22, 2009

You're Not A Widow Yet!

Yes, it's true. It's incredible. It's wonderful. Excuse my hyperbole, but "Dragonslayer" is the music of this year. My love for Sunset Rubdown is not slowing down. In fact, it might be getting stronger. With good reason. This album is slap in the face great. It is delivered with the sole purpose of bringing joy to those that are lucky to hear it. This album is the third full-length recorded by the band as a whole. And you can tell. Even if the genius that is Spencer Krug takes centre stage, the band plays a big part. Camilla plays a bigger part on vocals and new member Mark Nicol is a great addition on bass and percussion. This album was recorded with the intent of capturing the live feel. If "Random Spirit Lover" felt cloistered, but still impossibly exquisite, then "Dragonslayer" feels raw and vigorous. Guitars crunch and shred, voices wail and keyboards are bashed. All the while maintaining that gorgeous melodic element that Mr Krug has a mortgage on. This is music to excite and fall in love with. This is music that tumbled from the tops of mountains, into your waiting arms.

I will give a full appraisal upon the official release date (June 23), but here are some early impressions...

Silver Moons
A stunning introduction. Quiet keyboards give way to rich and lush melodies. A pure example of the art of Krug. Plus some great Camilla vocals.

Idiot Heart
The most commonly heard track is still as fresh as ever. Frenetic and over the top, Spencer pours his heart out with devastating results.

Apollo and the Buffalo and Anna Anna Anna Oh!
Probably the least immediate track, but a real grower. At times soft and wistful, this song features some lovely guitar work mid song.

Black Swan
Thunderous and completely mad. Serious guitar shredding is matched with ferocious vocals. One of my favourites on the album.

Paper Lace
Spencer wrote a quieter version for Swan Lake, which I probably prefer. But this shorter song contains a gem of a melody and will continue to grow on me.

You Go on Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)
We first heard this as an acoustic version in the Black Cab Sessions. That version was perfect, so it was going to be hard to match. But this is pretty damn good. The newer version really rocks and definitely includes Spencer's most poignant lyrics.

Nightingale/December Song
The only song not to have a bootleg floating around. But what a song! Probably my second favourite. The opening is almost semi-electronic, before giving away to a ramshackle acoustic song that represents a different and pleasing sound for the band.

Dragon's Lair
The epic! The song! 10 minutes on a rollercoaster of music. Truly astounding and breathtaking. The drumming is sublime and the peaks in this song are totally ecstatic.

Dragonslayer is released on Jagjaguwar on June 23.
Pre order now for a digital download of MP3s.

MP3: Idiot Heart


  • At May 23, 2009 , Blogger Kelly said...

    WOW Wayne, I really wish there was something else to be said but you have summed it up nicely. All in all Dragonslayer has been more than worth the wait. This morning I was thinking about how great the band as a whole has become around Spencer and low and behold I read this post and you have nailed it. Mark Nicol is not just a great addition to the album but when I saw SR live last year he added a dynamic that blew me away. The Taming of the Hands with Mark was absolutely amazing. Another aspect we overlook is how great the guitar work in SR is... Anyways, Album of the Year? Nah. J/K.


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