Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph
(2010, Dead Oceans)
RIYL = Sunset Rubdown, Xiu Xiu, Tom Waits
This happens: Carey Mercer and Co. unwittingly find a tomb, it’s Paul’s tomb. Probably not the Paul you’re thinking of, but then again, yes, yes it is. A resurrection takes place, Paul stands forth, wiping the sweat of resurrection from his brow. Mercer and his bandmates exchange toiled grins, exhausted but satisfied with their success. He, Paul, wobbles forward, bracing himself on the frame of the tomb door. Decades and centuries have thinned him into a tight sack of leathery bones. It’s not the sight you expect. Resurrections aren’t quite what you thought they were. So, it’s a triumph, sure, but it's now the responsibility of the band to rid the world of this weary figure whose head holds only a few disparate patches of lengthy death-grown hair. It happens with shovels. Lots of smashing and cleanly shattered marrow. Little blood. And so it is that the new Frog Eyes album collapses upon itself in a heap of shovels, all thunderous and clanging, the perfect companion to Tears of the Valedictorian, an album which has steadily sounded better and better every day since its initial release. The same is true of Paul’s Tomb, and, honestly, this album is a whole hell of a lot better than most of these warm-but-not-quite-ecstatic reviews have been painting it (and how can I not be wholly disaffected by the blunder of Pitchfork?). This is it. I don’t know if this is my favourite album of the year yet, but it is starting very high on the list, and if my past experience with Frog Eyes is any indicator, Paul’s Tomb will indeed be triumphant. Priceless.
Frog Eyes - "A Flower In a Glove"
Frog Eyes - "Lear in Love"