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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

8.4

Sunset Rubdown
Dragonslayer

Files, papers and what appeared to be nothing more than discarded snippets of a deranged individual's subconcious decorated all possible surfaces of the office. It was a complete mess. A cluttered wasteland of brain dumplings and prematurely ejaculated ideas. The owner of the cramped, windowless space, the charismatic Mr Spencer Krug, knew where everything was kept and, within his scattered brain, everything was categorically stored in it's correct place. But to the Average Joe on the street who wanted to find something that felt comfortable, that he/she could slide right into, this was hardly the best place to look.

Krug heard the complaints, but he hardly recognised a need to change his ways. The polite acknowledgment from the powers that controlled and measured his success had meant he had more resources at his disposal than when he first ventured out into the wilderness with nothing more than a book of random phrases and a perfectly flawed method of delivery.

Time, and the success that time well spent had awarded him, allowed Spencer to gather up a small legion of supporters that he now utilises as a filter between his own creative madness and the audience that judge the merits of his efforts. Under the protection offered by the talents of his comrades, Krug was able to comfortably go about doing what he does best - wandering in circles, falsely creating dramatic moments of grandeur and enjoying the way comedy and abstract moments of serious discussion awkwardly grind up next to each other like a high school junior's first boner-party/school dance.

While Krug still finds plenty of time to colour outside the lines (as well as the page, and the whole forest that was murdered to make the metaphorical colouring book) on the collective's latest offering his gang of peers seem to have been able to focus his attention. The endlessly quotable quips and drama-fueled vocals once again dominate, but the structures that house them are built in a much more logical manner. Doors no longer hang upside down, ceiling fans aren't in dangerous places and horses don't wander through the kitchen like it's a playpen. Ok, so the horses are still everywhere. Running wild and blowing trumpets like an acid-fueled vision of Utopia. Seriously, Krug - enough with the fucking horses.

Aside from the continual dips into his self-made jovial world, Krug seems to have cleaned up his act, somewhat. It feels like he wants to actually be at the party this time, instead of just being 'that weird dude' who is reading existentialist Russian poetry to the family dog and drinking milk out of a vase. He no longer seems obsessed with getting a reaction from a single off-the-wall moment, but rather focusing on a more logical way of delivering his madness. The delivery feels no less spontaneous and unpredictable than before, yet the more direct technique is a lot less hit-or-miss. This new, more instantly comfortable method also accommodates a greater sense of control. This, by default, means that the work on Dragonslayer is immediately more accessible than it's predecessors.

On some occasions during this adventure however the group misstep, failing to find the correct balance between the abstract lyricism and their new found sensibility. At one moment, Krug (or a Krug impersonator) can even be heard saying "that's as good as that will get", hinting at the fact the structured approach was more of an experiment than a conscious attempt to narrow the focal point.

For the most part, Dragonslayer feels like an unforced enhancement. A stepping stone from directionless playful madness towards a much grander universe. This record isn't so much about what is contained on it, but rather where it is positioned within the group's path towards their own big dreams. Some will see this as a cop-out and beg The Rubdown's to return to the creative insanity that created their joyfully unfocused pieces. I for one hope they push forward towards the high mountains this record aims for, as I feel when they strike the right balance between the contradicting sides of their persona - the madness and the logic - they will finally become a realisation of the band that lives inside Spencer Krug's head.

Filed Under
Record Reviews
Sunset Rubdown
Spencer Krug

 

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Comments

maya

nice review. i was once of the camp who "beg the Rubdowns to return to the creative insanity that created their joyfully unfocused pieces" -- but have since had a change of heart.

1 decade ago

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