Divine Fits' "A Thing Called Divine Fits"
- Article by: Jon O'Brien
- Posted: 08/16/2012
Not exactly strangers to the idea of the side-project, Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner and New Bomb Turks’ Sam Brown take a break from their respective outfits to join forces under the guise of Divine Fits.
Co-produced with Nick Launay (Grinderman, The Cribs), their debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, is thankfully more imaginative than its title. Echoing the nu-synth direction of Boeckner’s husband & wife duo Handsome Furs, opener “My Love Is Real” combines the Canadian’s melodramatic vocals with the cold clinical electro of early The Human League.
Elsewhere, “The Salton Sea” is an authentic homage to the Teutonic chic of Kraftwerk; “Baby Get Worse” sounds like a Bruce Springsteen blue-collar rock anthem given a robotic electro makeover; while “For Your Heart” blends shimmering acid-house riffs with a Gary Numan-esque bass-line to produce a doom-laden slice of gothic disco.
As an album of two halves however, A Thing Called Divine Fits is an entirely different beast when Daniel takes over vocal duties. “Flaggin A Ride” and “Would That Not Be Nice” are spiky new-wave numbers, the latter of which features a swirling psychedelic breakdown, while “Shivers,” (originally recorded by Nick Cave’s The Boys Next Door), slowly builds from an emotive indie-rock ballad to an intense and slightly disorientating shoegazing wall of noise.
Add in the plaintive acoustic balladry of “Civilian Stripes,” the grungy garage rock of “What Gets You Alone” and the proggy finale of “Neopolitans” and it’s pretty clear that the trio enjoyed their opportunity to really let loose.
Unfocused it may be then, but clocking in at just under 43 minutes, A Thing Called Divine Fits is still a short, sharp and smart record which cleverly avoids the self-indulgence that plagues most supergroups’ first efforts.