Monday, March 2nd, 2009
Review of Tindersticks' The Hungry Saw and giveaway
Richard DumasHow long have people been telling me to listen to Tindersticks? At least a couple years, probably longer – at one point a label rep was so sure the Nottingham-based band and I were kismet that they sent me copies of their last two studio albums – Can Our Love… and Waiting For The Moon – not out of any PR duty but because they simply felt I needed to hear them.
And I have listened, periodically spinning either of the two records and seeing the appeal more and more each time but never quite needing to hear them. Part of the problem, as I see it now, is that their sweeping, jazz- and r&b-accented, orchestrally-appointed world of desperate romance and melancholy isn’t the sort of place you can visit casually, you have to inhabit it. And I have more than enough downer music in my collection as is – something I realized when trying to put together a playlist for running a little while back. But I digress.
The arrival last Spring of their latest album and first in five years, The Hungry Saw, proved to be the kick in the ass I needed to revisit my unintentional but now not inconsiderable Tindersticks CD collection. I don’t know if it’s accurate to say that Saw is a more accessible entry point to their sound or if I’d already been conditioned enough by the other records, but things are now falling into place quite nicely for me with this band. It’s still unmistakeably Tindersticks – nothing with Stuart Staples’ distinctive croon could really be otherwise – but there’s a bit more sprightliness to the sound. Only a bit, the beautiful booziness and bleakness persists, but there’s enough to give the record a slightly brighter feel and to endow Staples’ delivery with a bit of coyness to temper its innate moroseness.
There’s still nothing here that might make it onto the exercise playlist, but if I need a soundtrack for moping, The Hungry Saw – and its compatriots – will be top of the stack. And considering how reverentially the band’s earliest works are spoken of, it’s possible that stack will be getting larger.
The band is embarking on a rare North American tour starting this week and will be at the Opera House in Toronto next Tuesday, March 10. And courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want Tindersticks” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest will close at midnight, March 6.
Clash gets a studio update from Twilight Sad frontman James Graham about how progress is coming on album number two. The band will be hitting the road with Mogwai this Spring and be at the Phoenix on May 4.
Scottish quintet My Latest Novel, who made an impression back in 2006 with their debut Wolves will return with a follow-up on May 18 in the form of Death And Entrances. Details at The Line Of Best Fit, sample via SxSW.
Chart rounds up some recent quotes from Oasis’ Noel Gallagher, wherein he reveals he’s almost ready to hit the studio to record the follow-up to last year’s Dig Out Your Soul and that he does all his blogging via text message.