Reissues: Spoon

Gimme Fiction (Merge)

Texas Platters

Given a decade's hindsight, the role of Gimme Fiction in Spoon's narrative has only grown in stature. Following a major label debacle with Elektra Records that would've doomed acts with less tenacity, songwriter/principal Britt Daniel and company solidified an enviable spot in the indie firmament by landing on Merge with 2001's Girls Can Tell. Kill the Moonlight followed the next year, but three years separate it and Gimme Fiction, which amplified the band's strengths into something wholly singular. Despite overtures toward mod-rock radio conventions of the time, lead single "I Turn My Camera On" finds Daniel's falsetto and drummer Jim Eno's narcoleptic disco beat sanded down to their starkest essence. "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine" exemplifies the bandleader's ability to squeeze universal sentiment from opacity. If classic rock's timeline extended past Nevermind, piano-driven grinder "My Mathematical Mind" would be ripe for the canon by now. Howie Weinberg's remaster airs out the sound appreciably, though the album's profound lack of superfluity leaves few audible hairs to be smoothed out. The bonus disc of home demos – including two songs that didn't make the cut – give insight into Daniel's songwriting process, particularly "Sister Jack," which began life as a somewhat doleful piano ballad.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 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 Spoon
Faster Than Sound: Spoon Returns On Full Blast
Faster Than Sound: Spoon Returns On Full Blast
Reigning local rockers' surprise show at Mohawk and more music news

Rachel Rascoe, July 9, 2021

Texas Platters
Spoon
Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon (Record Review)

Libby Webster, Sept. 6, 2019

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Spoon

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

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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