Random Spirit Lover
"This album would rather fight you than make friends with you." These are the sentiments of a faceless contributor to a forum topic about Sunset Rubdown’s Random Spirit Lover. It’s true. My first attempts at understanding the album were answered with a mess of cluttered confusion. Random Spirit Lover is a heap of snarled indie-prog-carnival-rock that is epic in scope. If you have purchased this album prepare for an angelic tussle. Following quickly behind the formidable prestige of last year's Shut Up I Am Dreaming, Sunset Rubdown master mind, Spencer Krug (ala Wolf Parade, Swan Lake, Frog Eyes), has shattered even his high expectations. Krug acts as if bleeding out the last semblance of sanity while trying control this: his magnum opus, belting his lyrical maze like a maddened preacher. Parading like a herd of wooly mammoth, Random Spirit Lover sprints wildly down a tangled mountainside; simultaneously gaining speed and losing control. Krug seems to contain this chaos by offering clips of the destructive domino effect in slow motion, emphasizing the beautiful intricacies of its individually churning parts before letting it loose again. On a slight side note - Krug pines some interesting theatrical territory here with tracks like "The Courtesan Has Sung" harkening Danny Elfman’s Edward Scissorhands score and "Colt Stand Up, Grow Horns" reminiscent of The Labyrinth (you know...the one with David Bowie). Manically urgent in its delivery and perpetually deranged in its arrangements, Sunset Rubdown still manages to qualify for the term pop. Perhaps that is too simplified; maybe "mad pop genius"? Yeah, that's a little better. Sunset Rubdown reaches the type heights that we wait for all year; providing revelations that are not only exciting in the newness of their discovery but surprising on their increasing depth with repeated listens. It is one of those records that are inspiring of what music can be. And as a qualifier, I don’t even consider most of the things I wrote as hyperbole. Essential! (This comes out on October 9th but you can pre-order your own copy today and get a free download so that you can listen to this beauty for the rest of the week.)
Sunset Rubdown - "Up on Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days"