FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012 |
Posted by: Malcolm Donaldson
This May, when Britt Daniel of Spoon and Dan Boeckner of Handsome Furs/Wolf Parade announced the formation of Divine Fits, the loaded word "supergroup" was thrown around. Although the group is made up of members of some formidable bands-- including Sam Brown, drummer of New Bomb Turks -- there was reason to be cautiously optimistic. We've all been hurt by the "supergroup" before, a word that conjures images of 10 minute, self-congratulatory bass solos. In the case of Divine Fits, it appears all ego has been checked in favor of collaboration. Boeckner and Daniel split singing/songwriting duty evenly on their first release together. A Thing Called Divine Fits is exactly that, "a thing" that stands on its own musical merits.
The obvious influence of Divine Fits' main projects is there: Spoon's hypnotic 4/4 soul and Handsome Furs synth-pop find their way into each song. The most exciting moments of the album, however, are the unexpected ones. The album singles "My Love is Real" and "Would That Not Be Nice" find a perfect balance between the member's weathered talents and new exploration, and deeper tracks like "Baby Get Worse" and "For Your Heart" sound like an 80s new-wave band you would find on the wall at a used record store. Surprisingly, the addition of Alex Fischel's playful synthesizers that add the extra secret ingredient to many songs, breaking up the routine of the trio.
Daniel and Boeckner are in fine form on this new album, sounding like a team of songwriters who share the same ideas and motives on each track. A Thing Called Divine Fits does a fantastic job of juxtaposing fun, danceable rock songs with a deeply dark lyrical edge, and it keeps the eleven songs fresh and immersive upon multiple listens. Britt Daniel sings Boeckner's dry lyrics, "My love is real/ until it stops" with his such characteristic plainspoken delivery that the duo makes a case for a long future together. It seems that the last thing the Spoon and Handsome Furs lead-men are concerned with is who will get credit for penning this supergroup's songs. Instead they let the music do all the talking.