THE SOMETHING RAIN by Tindersticks
There are two directions that a band like Tindersticks can go in at this point in their career. They can either hunker down to their core sound repeating the same record over and over again becoming dull and repetitive or they can go do something completely different alienating many of their old fans. Tindersticks instead has found a third way beefing up their songwriting with a newfound inspiration in the process making THE SOMETHING RAIN their best record in more than ten years.
Although they appeared at the same time as The Divine Comedy and My Life Story and came under the general heading of chamber pop. Tindersticks relied a lot more on atmosphere and never found the poppier route that these bands were able to travel on. Their last few albums had a sameness to them as if they were going through the motions
From obvious singles like “This Fire of Autumn” and “Slippin’ Shoes” filled with jazzy horns and strings and Stuart Staples wonderfully ageless voice with more lush spoken type atmosphere with “Chocolate” and “Frozen” THE SOMETHING RAIN combines a spike in their songwriting consistency with inspired arrangements and a spryer sound- a return to glory!
REIGN OF TERROR by Sleigh Bells
Sleigh Bells second album REIGN OF TERROR is exactly where I had hoped they would go following their debut TREATS. On their first album, burst of guitar, cheerleader rhythms, and fade in fade out hammering percussion combined to produce something one of a kind but also deeply catchy.
The main difference between TREATS and REIGN is the lack of empty space. On TREATS, in between all the hullabaloo there were moments where the music didn’t reach, a second there, a second here of empty space. On REIGN there is no empty space every second is jammed with sound. The use of synths and programming are like spackle filling in the holes in a song when everything else doesn’t quite reach. These songs feel more finished more complete than the ones on TREAT. I loved TREATS but REIGN may be the best album I’ve heard so far this year-really amazing!