I have really been enjoying Spoon’s latest record, Transference quite a bit. They seem to have fully realized the austere direction they began to head in 2002 with there positively great release called Kill The Moonlight. And I think that Spoon has succeeded so well in the direction they’ve gone during this millenium that it is almost impossible not to love it. But after much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that A Series of Sneaks, released on Elektra in 1997, has got to be my favorite Spoon record to date. It’s a tough decision, because there isn’t one of their seven releases that aren’t well worth owning. A Series of Sneaks seems to be a bit of lost record in their discography. This probably has a lot to do with fact that it could be considered the release that the a band survived, despite the records considerable quality. It was a major label debut, and the label botched it, as often happens. This will usually be enough of a setback as to sack a band. But Spoon survived it, then they thrived, landing on Merge records. Whether or not a band survives situation like that, they usually have a bitter view toward the particular collection of songs involved. Plus they have no motivation to promote an old record that was released on a different label. A label that mistreated them no less. Anyway, that’s my theory about why we hear so little about A Series of Sneaks.
On this record, Spoon was already drawing a tight bead in their presentation. But this record is aggressive. There is an almost opaque layer of what borders between hard rock and punk, laid over the a no nonsense pop underpinning. For those who have enjoyed backtracking to Telephono, or those have gotten into Spoon more recently and would like to hear them push things with more intensity, you will really enjoy this record.
Here they are at First Avenue.