The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the frequently mad scientists who discovered them.
The record has an interestingly stately air to it, considering Polly Eltes' breathy, quirky vocals and Michael Karoli's apparent fascination with variations on reggae rhythms (not too surprising, considering the spiritual link between Can and the output of Jamaican mixers.) The complete set would be more compelling and striking, though, if there were a little more focus – Karoli and Eltes spend quite a bit of time simply drifting into thematic hooks, leaving the listener in limbo for too long on a regular basis. When it clicks, though, it is excellent.
Austin-based indie rock band Spoon have announced a new album called "Hot Thoughts". It will follow the band's last full length album "They Want My Soul" that was released back in 2014. Britt Daniel revealed the album name in an interview during SXSW. Spoon stay in their well-earned lane but tweak the formula just enough on their ninth album, keeping their reliably great songwriting and adding new, electronic textures.
Five Ways of Disappearing marks Smith's return to recording, and the album reflects both her psychedelic background and the more ethnic/folky material she creates now. Songs like "Aurelia Zebulon" and "Temporarily Lucy" are heavy, droning pieces bordering on gothic, while "In Your Head" is a demure pop song, and "Maggots" is an odd tune with a nonsensical chorus of "maggots/do-do-do-do-do." Her deadpan vocal delivery adds another layer of individuality to an offbeat album by an offbeat artist.
The Candlebox of 2016 isn't the Candlebox of 1996, lacking many of its members – only mainstay lead vocalist Kevin Martin and drummer Dave Krusen remain – and also most of the grunge signifiers that turned the band into a chart-topper in the glory days of '90s alt-rock. Two decades on, Pearl Jam isn't a touchstone: Matchbox Twenty is, as is Third Eye Blind, two titans of the smoother post-grunge movement that ushered bands like Candlebox out of the charts. Perhaps the Seattle-based quintet, which is now essentially a vehicle for Martin's music, is slightly behind the curve by concentrating on this sound, yet the broader lines, slower tempos, and emphatic pleading suit a band now in middle age: it's adult alternative rock the way they used to do it back in the day.