With the exception of perhaps Rob Crow, Spencer Krug is almost a shoe-in for the inaugural Pitchfork-backed -Mr Prolific Indie Rock of the Decade’; while the perceived day job he holds down may well be as co-frontman of Wolf Parade, the busy Canuck also finds time for Frog Eyes, Swan Lake, and not least, Sunset Rubdown, who sound less like a side project by the day.
Album number four for Sunset, Dragonslayer, takes off where predecessor Random Spirit Lover left off – awash with swashbuckling and elaborate instrumentation, chiming with giddy orchestration, and jammed with fascinating bridges, Krug and co have crafted perhaps their most user-friendly release to date. That’s not to say it ain’t choc-a-bloc with obtuse lyrical references that could very well owe as much to period drama as science fiction, given Krug’s equal sharpness and aloofness with the pen.
Nevertheless, witness the new-wave tinged -Idiot Heart’ where a crunchy guitar almost takes pride of place over keyboard, Krug’s usual weapon of choice; it could nearly fit in as a hip-shaker down the local discotheque, with its indie swagger matched by Camilla Wynne Ingr sweet backing vocals.
Elsewhere -Paper Lace’, which also made an earlier appearance this year on Swan Lake’s Enemy Mine, is a more straight-up tune, but its when Sunset revert to vigorous switches and turns like on closer -Dragon’s Lair’ or completely frivolous abandon as on -Apollo and the Buffalo and Anna Anna Anna Oh’ that this record truly excels.