Random Spirit Lover is Sunset Rubdown's 3rd full length record album and their first to sound like a full set coaction rather than a Herbert Spencer Krug solo project. This is immediately apparent in the drawn-out presentation of record album opener "The Mending of the Gown," where each set member stretches out their musical legs in readying for the ensuing nearly hour-long journey into a human race of Equus caballuses and prostitutes before Krug interruptions through with his best 50's nickelodeon strut that would do Misfits-era Danzig outcry crying of blood. And THANK HEAVENS, for Sunset Rubdown is finally out of Herbert Spencer Krug's sleeping room and into the stars!
There's no better manner to open up an record album than with a quintessential mental representation of a new muscular sound of four instrumentalists feeding off each other and hitting all at once. And "The Mending of the Gown" delivers. The tunes are looser and the guitars more playful than anything we've heard from Sunset Rubdown. Keyboardist and background singer Camilla Wynn Ingr plays the Dan Boeckner function of pushing and pulling against Krug's vocals, bringing the song to high that Krug's voice simply could not attain on his own. Their exchanges of "this one's for Maggie, this one's for Sam" make a superb latent hostility that's both beautiful and manner too empyreal to not listen on repeat. It's the high-grade minute of 2007...that is, until 10 secs later when the gorgeously terrific "I have got lusted after you....THE manner blood chumps DO!" detonates and goosebumps it's way into the sing-along hallway of fame.
The glare doesn't halt there. In "Magic Vs. Midas," Jonny Greenwood-esque guitar jabbings permeate an otherwise lovely keyboard drive across the existence before Krug's mesmeric mantra "You made up a listing of your luckiest stars, and you made me familiar to you in the dark." It's moments like this that separate his songwriting from coevals like Frog Eyes' Carey Mercer. Though rather vague, abstract, and self-referential (the Equus caballuses have got galloped over from 2006's Close Up I Am Dreaming) like Swan Lake set first mate Dan Bejar, Krug's words always packs a tangible emotional resonance. Some of his high-grade minutes are the most subtle; the one's that uncover their wonderment and grief lone after perennial listens, as in "Winged/Wicked Things" when he sings "and the form of flight is helter-skelter and blind,
but it's compensate because pandemonium is yours and it's mine." It's the sort of beauty that tin lucifer such as Krug penned classics as "I'll Believe in Anything" and "All Fires."
The only unfavorable judgment I could come up up with is that the Cocteau-Twins-playing-D&D vibe of "Colt Stands Up, Grows Horns" is a spot of a impulse slayer smack dab in the center of the album. Also, closer "Child-Heart Losers" blanches in comparing to the former album's annihilating closer of "Shut Up I Am Dreaming of Places Where Lovers Have Wings." But that is indeed a mighty melody to match.
Random Spirit Lover is yet another notch on the belt of Herbert Spencer Krug, who have been cranking out quality record albums at a 60's hit-makers pace. This is that yearly fall release that bends everything a different colour and never go forths your cadmium player/turntable/ipod/whatever. Get into this now before you're complaining four old age down the line that he is past his prime.