First Listen: Built To Spill, 'Untethered Moon'

April 13, 2015 3:03 AM

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It's suspiciously easy to overlook the existential side of Boise, Idaho's Built To Spill, a seasoned but frequently rotating ensemble centered on avuncular frontman Doug Martsch. There are brighter enticements to the band's amiably fractured rock: Martsch's arresting guitar solos, the songs' devil-may-care structural assembly, the whole package's never-duplicated ability to channel Neil Young and the Pixies and the Butthole Surfers, sometimes within the same phrase. Nevertheless, there's always been a surprisingly dark coffeehouse-philosopher vibe underneath all the winning quirks — it's even implicit in the band's name.

Untethered Moon, Built To Spill's eighth studio album (featuring a new rhythm section in drummer Jason Albertini and bassist Stephen Gere, both former BTS roadies), lays those questing tendencies as bare as any before it. Picking up the moody threads of its predecessor, 2009's There Is No Memory, th...

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