Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sunset Rubdown / Shut Up I Am Dreaming / Rating: 8.6

“As the Wolf Parade juggernaut gathers steam, the quintet's charismatic keyboardist, Spencer Krug, somehow found time to follow his recent self-titled Sunset Rubdown EP with Shut Up I Am Dreaming, a collection of his strongest, most fully realized non-Wolf Parade material to date.”

“Most fully realized” is the kind of review phrase I despise. As meaningful as the words can be it is a canned criticism I read or am told so regularly (especially coming from labels and publicity companies) that I now ignore this type of claim all together.

Six paragraphs of worship and praise for Sunset Rubdown later (to back up "most fully realized"), it just took one listen to think what a waste of time. Not the record, but all those bulked up compliments. I understand Pitchfork readers need a little more to go on than yup….this sure does sounds like Wolf Parade and their name should be also be a Bathwork’s tropical massage oil, but being the busy people we are, why drag it out.

Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Clear your mind. Now allow your imagination to wander. I would like you to envision what Spencer Krug from Wolf Parade’s other band might sound like.

Yes! That’s it!

I don’t know most of you reading this personally but I bet whatever sounds you conjured up in your head mirror Shut Up I Am Dreaming almost exactly. The same but different should be Sunset’s Rubdown’s motto. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, especially if you like WP but I can’t offer a novella on the subject featuring glowing Pitchfork sentiments like” ostensible perfection”, “brilliant”, “inventive stitching”, “kick-ass axe-toting coda”, “weirdly pleasant and satisfying”, “This is rich stuff”, and “elegant wallop”.

Geesh Pitchfork, get a room already. Just kidding. I am happy to read that somebody is deeply in love with a 2006 record and I can only hope I too find that kind of passion this year for a new release. I don’t prey on other people’s dates so Pitchfork can have Sunset Rubdown. I don’t want to go steady with this band or even hold hands with them under the table. SR isn’t really my type so why try to force what is not meant to be. We can still be friends, right?

My parting question is this: why do so many band members create side projects that sound suspiciously like their other more popular band? I mean if you are going to go for an alternate identity why clone your artist self in the process?

I know some apples don’t fall far from its tree but some band apples apparently don’t want to leave the branch at all. Sunset Rubdown are the 6.8 of my eye and nothing more.