On Tuesday, September 5, The World’s Best American Band, White Reaper will tag team the Boise Knitting Factory with Austin art rock veterans, Spoon. Grab your tickets here. The Louisville, Kentucky quartet have been touring their hearts out in support of their new album The World’s Best American Band released this Spring via Polyvinyl Records. The album is packed with infectiously melodic and energetic punk pop anthems like the bouncy debut single, “Judy French” and the strutty groover, “Eagle Beach.” The album’s most recent single, “The Stack” resonates with honky tonk tack piano and swirling guitars, while the title track vibes with the rock sensibility of Cheap Trick and the ska-pop ethos of Smash Mouth.
Produced by Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket, Young Widows), guitarist/vocalist Tony Esposito explains the bold album title and band mantra:
“Because we are the best. Just like Muhammad Ali was the greatest, you gotta say it out loud for people to believe it.”
Boasting textured melodies, layered guitars and more seasoned lyrics, The World’s Best American Band finds the band busting out of the basement sound established on their previous full length (2015’s critically acclaimed White Reaper Does It Again) and setting their sights on the arena.
Garnished with glimpses of the golden age of rock and roll, TWBAB is loaded with guitars that scream and gigantic drums in lockstep rhythm, each song packing its own massive, but none the less unique, punch.
Paste Magazine put it best:
“Onstage is where the band’s wonderfully scuzzy blend of pop-punk and garage rock goes stratospheric. It’s rock for rock’s sake, outfitted with the gleefully immodest stage vocabulary of an ‘80s hair-metal band: kick-flips, dueling guitar solos—cocky gestures the average introverted indie band avoids like asbestos.”
Watch the band’s latest video for “Judy French” starring actress Alexandra Daddario (True Detective, Baywatch):
Austin’s Spoon is touring in support of its ninth studio album, Hot Thoughts. The record is the bravest, most sonically inventive work of their career, though keep in mind, frontman Britt Daniel has already overseen a number of other reincarnations. With all due respect to earlier efforts that have made the band both critically acclaimed and a commercial contender, preconceptions about Spoon are about to be obliterated. That’s not to say Hot Thoughts doesn’t have a requisite supply of infectious earworms — WE DIDN’T SAY THIS WAS A DIFFERENT BAND (though this is the first Spoon album with no acoustic guitar) — but there’s a lyrical bent that’s as carnal as it’s crafty, and a newfound sense of sonic exploration that results in the genre-smasher Spoon have flirted with in the past but not fully consummated.
The ten songs on Hot Thoughts run the gamut from the kaleidoscopic opening title track (as tone-setting as say, “Dirty Mind” for the album it commences) through the gargantuan stomp of “Do I Have To Talk You Into It” and ubiquitous wiry hooks of “Can I Sit Next To You” to the bittersweetness of “I Ain’t The One” and the deadpan swing of “Tear It Down” — less the telling of an apocalyptic vision and more what Daniel describes as a song about “empathy for strangers.”
Ample recognition should be tossed in the direction of Dave Fridmann, whose wizard-level ingenuity has brought a diabolical sheen to the band’s swagger (there may be many great ways to occupy one’s time in Cassadaga, New York, but we do know that holing up at Fridmann’s studio to make a masterpiece is one of them).
Without question, the prior works of Daniel, drummer Jim Eno, bassist Rob Pope and no-longer-a-secret weapon, Alex Fischel have scaled some lofty heights (from 1996 debut LP Telephono, 1998’s A Series Of Sneaks, 2001’s Girls Can Tell, 2002’s Kill The Moonlight, 2005’s recently reissued in deluxe 10th anniversary grandeur Gimme Fiction, through the trifecta of U.S. Top 10 albums that was Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007), Transference (2010) and They Want My Soul (2014), you’re talking about a winning streak that’s nothing short of Mayweather-esque), but Hot Thoughts is a daring, futuristic chapter in the Spoon story. Daniel’s spot in the pantheon of rock’s genius songwriters was established long ago—but with the crackling, incandescent, multi-dimensional backdrop conjured on Hot Thoughts, the lines between accessible and experimental become non-factors for once and all. It’s pop as high art, delivered with total confidence and focus.