UNABASHED AND FAR-REACHING: Sunset Rubdown
The slave-versus-master, death-of-imagination, inanimate-empathy shit I remember from the classroom, but except for a few Metallica jams, I never thought the stuff could lose its academic straitjacket and make for a good song. Right now, though, I’m hearing Sunset Rubdown talk about getting chased by 100 snakes and somehow I’m not laughing, I’m shivering, and with Snakes on a Plane due soon, that says something. Sunset is Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug, a boyish Montreal smartist who’s probably rolled a few 32-sided dice in his time and who very likely learned keyboards from playing back the MIDI parts from Nintendo’s Castlevania and Dragon Warrior 2. Shut Up is unabashed and far-reaching, a thousand parts sweated down to four players and one harrowing Robert Smith karaoke voice, occasionally too synth-proggy but always high stakes. Granted, high stakes seems to be the Canadian MO. But whereas you might hear the suspended piano chords on “Us Ones in Between” as mere Elton John homage, I take Krug’s “Every lightning rod has got to watch the storm cloud come” line as technological imprisonment, the need to love not be loved, the graceful smirk. A deep heart, Krug wonders aloud why “oceans never listen to us”; unlike his peers, he doesn’t seem to mind.
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