You know what I’m not going to do? I’m not going to give you the back story on Spoon for this review. You know why? Cause this album is pretty darn great and I don’t want to cloud this review with bio tidbits. Spoon fans already know everything there is to know about the band and those who are being introduced will find enough to love on Gimme Fiction to prompt some further investigation. I will say this though—after releasing some of the best albums of the past ten years it’s no surprise how much quality the band has put into this release. The only other band in recent memory that has resurrected so purely this fashion of rock and roll is Black Mountain (surprise, Spoon fans). See this is all a bit funny too, considering the fact that I usually wouldn’t have time for such nostalgic trips; they take time away from my Yellow Swans and Brainwashed 7”s.
Upon first impression I scared myself a little as my brain whispered Sloan while I listened to some of these tracks. Then I sobered the hell up and realized why. Spoon have gone for that instant classic rock sound on Gimme Fiction, and unlike bands like Sloan, they have fucking nailed it. The keyboards, bass, guitar and percussion—everything just sounds great and familiar. My favorite track comes right smack in the middle of the album. “Sister Jack” makes me feel good. It’s gloriously smooth and shiny garage guitar strums along atop unfaltering percussion while the odd second guitar squall can be heard wigging out lower in the mix—Britt Daniel sings “but I can’t relax / with my knees on the ground and a stick in my back”. I’m sure you’ve already heard about “I Turn My Camera On” and yes, it is just as good as your friends say it is; minimal, provocative and funky.
In many places Spoon incorporates noise elements into the mix. Often white squalls of noise or odd sounds can be heard, such as on “My Mathematical Mind.” The first half of the album is definitely much better than the second, but the songs are so good it doesn’t matter at all. “Two Sides/Monsieur Valentine” shows just how responsibly Spoon can adopt that old rock and roll sound while elsewhere they remain hushed and gentle. Come to think of it, this is a pretty eclectic album, though it still flows really well. If you are a Spoon fan, a fan of pure rock and roll or just curious, you can do no wrong here.
- Andrew Iliadis/july 1st 2005/