Spoon

Reissues

Phases and Stages

Spoon

A Series of Sneaks (Merge) "The aftermath of promotion -- it's time to take the trash out and redefine what you are," sings Britt Daniel on "Laffitte Don't Fail Me Now," a terse strummer directed at Elektra A&R man Ron Laffitte, who signed the band in 1998 and allowed them to be dropped four months after A Series of Sneaks was released. The stellar Chapel Hill, N.C., indie Merge has taken the choice opportunity to reissue the album, as it fell out of print shortly after Spoon was dropped. Fittingly, two songs about Laffitte, originally on a Saddle Creek 7-inch, have been included here. Daniel and company have since garnered a legion of new fans with last year's poppier Merge debut Girls Can Tell, but the tense, jagged A Series of Sneaks stands as one of the great achievements of the late Nineties, Spoon fan or no. Bursting with an energy often crackling just below the surface, the John Croslin-produced Sneaks is a succession of short, spontaneous-sounding fragments, bathed in the eureka glow one finds only at the moment of creation. The flow is outrageously good, tributaries of consciousness twisting and turning in an indescribably natural way. Daniel's warm, fuzzy tremolo and drummer Jim Eno's nervous shuffle on "30 Gallon Tank" give way to the live-wire barrage of "Car Radio," one of the finest 90-second songs ever written. "Muh-muh-mah! Muh-muh-mah!" Daniel repeats. His inarticulations and double-entendres, along with the extended keyboard bridge of "Metal Detektor" and the dynamic cover art (©1920, Giacomo Balla) speak a language that transcends by leaps and bounds the catchy rock & roll album Ron Laffitte expected to hear.

****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Curtis Roush
Cosmic Campfire Music (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, Oct. 12, 2018

Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Trampled by Turtles
Life Is Good on the Open Road (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2018

More by Michael Chamy
Texas Platters
Palaxy Tracks
Twelve Rooms (Record Review)

Sept. 16, 2005

Texas Platters
Comet
Feathers From the Wing EP (Record Review)

Aug. 12, 2005

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Spoon, A Series of Sneaks

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle