SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews

Spiral Stairs

Doris & the Daggers (Nine Mile)

SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews

Nearly eight years have passed since Spiral Stairs' bow, but a hint of maturity marks Doris & the Daggers. Which isn't to say it's any less fun. By dialing back the intentional obfuscation of 2009's The Real Feel, the Northern Californians' sophomore release doubles its predecessor's skewed-pop pleasures. Here, Scott Kannberg's ear for simple yet memorable hooks drives the overall aesthetic. The verses on opener "Dance (Cry Wolf)" trade in foreboding imagery, but its swaying chorus beckons defiant fist pumps. Scottish travelogue "Dundee Man" delights with its haggis-infused narrative, while "The Unconditional" and "Angel Eyes" summon love and loss with the stiff upper lip of a reformed ironist. (Wed. 15, Maggie Mae's Rooftop, 11pm)

***.5

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