Single Review: Spoon – The Hardest Cut

To be honest I hadn’t thought about Spoon since their underwhelming effort Transference in 2010, after having been blown away by a series of albums displaying a lean new wave inspired raw energy, so, although they’ve not really been away, I have to say, from my point of view, it’s nice to see them back, especially with their recently re-issued classic albums on vinyl for the first time.

And now it’s time to welcome them back with this single, a taster from their new album Lucifer On The Sofa, and if this song is anything to go by things are looking good. It’s a slice of classic Spoon. Muscular, minimalist classic rock with excellent clean production and dirty guitars, with a hint of head nodding Krautrock, like a stripped down Golden Earring. Such a desirable bath of sound to drop your needle into. It starts with a Stray Cats groove over a drone bass pedal – a rockabilly rumble, shifting gears with little jets and spurts of steam and gasoline, cranked up guitars belching exhaust as the song grooves along, easily stretching it’s taut chords to reach the apex of the chorus, slamming into a loud and dirty triplet of noise, before shifting down to start the climb all over again. It’s like taking a classic old motorbike for a gentle ride through the rolling hills of Spoon’s home town of Austin, Texas…probably.

The song talks of taking off in the dead of night, running away from the straitjacket of perceived morality and organised religion ‘knocking at your door’. ‘Following the leader gonna turn me off religion’ sings Britt Daniel, before taking off to who knows where in order to avoid ‘the hardest cut’. I wouldn’t put too much store in the meaning as this song is all about the groove, and those wonderful valve popping detuned guitars. It’s modern cowboy music for fans of classic American rock, from Link Wray through Tom Petty all the way to Wilco, it could soundtrack any and all of Tarantino’s films…and probably will.

‘The Hardest Cut’ is taken from Spoon’s forthcoming tenth album Lucifer on The Sofa, out on 11th February via Matador Records

Find out more on Spoon’s official website

Review by Andrew Wood

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