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Life in a Blender

Homewrecker Spoon

(Fang; US: 10 May 2011; UK: Import)

Forget “college rock”; with seven albums of quirky indie guitar dribbed and drabbed out over the course of nearly a quarter-century, the affable crew led by Don Ralph have spawned a whole new genre: “college reunion rock”. Said Album Number Seven, Homewrecker Spoon, from this slow-moving collective—whose members have worked with everyone from They Might Be Giants to Patti Smith—celebrates the freewheeling, anything-goes indie vibe that hasn’t been heard much since, oh, say, the Young Fresh Fellows’ heyday. Needless to say, off-kilter pop nuggets with a dark streak reign supreme here (is that album title referencing the nursery rhyme… or heroin?), from towering album centerpiece “Sean Connery” (where Ralph’s narrator marvels at a photo of the titular Scot reading a magazine in a but), the bleak verse/sunny chorus of “post-apocalyptic ode to joy” “Juiciest Plum” or the oh-so-proper lark “Does The Lady?”. The full-to-bursting-with-ideas ethos sometimes distracts from the band’s undeniable skills—tunes like “Go-To Man”, “Kill the Bottle”, and “The Rain Makes Me Thirsty” feel derailed by one gimmicky gear change too many—but the group is clearly having a blast and fans of smart indie rock circa the Bush Senior administration (not an insult!) will find plenty to enjoy here.

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College rock stalwarts and They Might Be Giants pals come together for their sixth album of quirky pop, but don't have quite enough pizzazz to hit the next level.
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