SPOON Kill The Moonlight (Merge) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
There's something about Spoon's Kill The Moonlight that recalls another indie buzz album, Badly Drawn Boy's The Hour Of Bewilderbeast. Both discs are notable for their ingenuity and songwriting smarts, but the Texans beat the Brit with a spare immediacy that's thrilling. It's due in part to singer-songwriter Britt Daniel, whose deliberately blasé delivery is a delicious rock star fuck-you. While the album has its balls-out rawk moments like opener Small Stakes (a revamped electric-guitar-and-tambourine Jet Boy Jet Girl), Spoon focus on honing down indie rock songs into sleek, streamlined beasts. Most tracks are built around a single detail -- grunted percussion or a single starkly beautiful fingerpicked guitar riff. Spoon sometimes strip away so many layers that the songs feel more like studies -- a tendency they share with Merge labelmate Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields -- but it's this unfinished quality that adds to the fresh, on-the-fly feel. Spoon hit the Horseshoe Wednesday (September 18).