Taking several pages from some decidedly non-Pavement tomes of rock, "Dance (Cry Wolf)" touches on everything from Bowie to Joy Division.
Paul Carr: It’s been a long time since Pavement’s Scott Kannberg released his last solo album as Spiral Stairs. Happily, he has certainly not lost his ear for a taut and succinct indie song with a clear, conspicuous melody. There is even a Bowie-esque quality to it, most evident in the pre-chorus which shares Bowie’s ability to write a catchy but slightly off-kilter melody. As one would hope with a song with “dance” in the title, it maintains a certain danceability. The fact that is was inspired by the death of Preston School of Industry drummer, Darius Minwalla adds further depth to it as it can be viewed as a celebration of life as there is nothing morose or mournful in it at all. Sometimes when faced with such loss, the only answer is just to keep dancing. [7/10]
Andrew Paschal: Taking several pages from some decidedly non-Pavement tomes of rock, "Dance (Cry Wolf)" touches on everything from Bowie to Joy Division, the latter if only on account of the song's consonance with "Transmission". Spiral Stairs' latest is nonetheless a fairly straightforward affair, and while undeniably well-executed, it's hard to find something particularly noteworthy about it either. Still, that doesn't stop it from being a good bit of fun. [6/10]
Chris Ingalls: Spiral Stairs, a.k.a. Scott Kannberg of Pavement has crafted a pretty straightforward post-punk single that doesn't really break any new ground but has a fairly uncomplicated immediacy that's refreshing. The snarling vocals sound a bit like a more restrained Nick Cave. The clean production gives the song a late '70s/early '80s Bowie feel. [7/10]
Adriane Pontecorvo: A moody, driving track with an old-school indie rock vibe and a darkly catchy melody. The simple chant of “Dance! / Dance! / Dance!” makes this an instant concert crowd-pleaser, while Scott Kannberg's growl keeps it from falling too far into the realm of dance rock; he aches, finding that sweet spot between an open wound and a hard callus, painful sorrow and total disaffect. The video doesn't always hit that same emotional reality; the story it tells is a fittingly strange one that we watch through retro computer screens, but the low-budget filming of the opening sets us up for something more comedic than the poignantly bittersweet song we get. We're lucky it's only a short blip. [7/10]
Spiral Stairs' new album, Doris & the Daggers, releases 24 March via Nine Mile/Domino.