Fill Up Your Cup with Built To Spill

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Slip on Built To Spill‘s new album, ‘There Is No Enemy” and turn the volume all the way up. Trust us – you’ll be glad you did. This week saw the release of the seventh full length album from the Idaho band, and certainly their best of the decade.

You might have Built To Spill on your ‘Best of ’90s’ playlist, but it’s time to update your notion of this group whose celebrity came of age when Nick Jonas was still teething. This indie-rock group has steadily been making a name for themselves, releasing albums sporadically for the last 15 years and turning some heads on the way. While later albums like 2006’s ‘You In Reverse” were notable, ‘There Is No Enemy’ is downright impressive.

‘Things Fall Apart’ might be one of the most stunning tracks on the album. The ballad has a lazy beat, but the lyrics are completely focused. “It doesn’t matter if you’re good or smart / goddamit, things fall apart” resonates with the kind of urgency and sincerity one doesn’t expect from indie music anymore. When the trumpet picks up and weaves you through a solo somewhere around the three-minute mark, feel free to close your eyes and sink your teeth into this melody – it just might sweep you away.

For a change of pace, slip on ‘Pat’. This outburst is a welcome change of flavour, with thick, thumping riffs. The tune colours the album with the kind of youth that speaks to the band’s ability to change things up, yet still draw on a couple decades of musical experience and authority in intricate instrumentation.

‘Done’ is another noteworthy track. Sitting on the fence between a ballad and a jam, the tune’s background synths and vocals make for the kind of chilling, touching music that we love Elliot Smith for.

Built To Spill is the kind of band that has always made ideal music: easy to listen to and relate with, considerably varied, and generally totally lovable. That kind of cocktail of talent is rare, but band members Doug Martsch, Brett Nelson and Scott Plouf are well seasoned at the mix. We’ve flagged ‘There Is No Enemy’ as a viable candidate for our personal soundtrack to Fall/Winter 2009.

Linger on this new release for a while, and check out their tour dates here to see where you can get an earful of Built To Spill live.

-Cora Nijhawan

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