Artist Profile
Spoon


Texas

till among the most important bands in indie rock, Spoon has been consistently delivering exciting music for seven years, with four full-length albums and several EPs and singles to claim. More so than almost any other rock group, Spoon has given its fans something entirely different with each successive release, progressing marvelously all the time, and profoundly using past successes to form new, original works. Impressively, each new direction and style Spoon has traversed has been exceptionally successful, resulting in an oeuvre that is not only superbly diverse, but also entirely indispensable.

Spoon, composed of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Britt Daniel, drummer Jim Eno, and varying bass players, was first heard with the self-released “Nefarious” single in 1994. The band signed with Matador and released its first album on the label, Telephono, in 1996. Telephono stands as an incredible debut, teeming with the energy and dynamics of the Pixies while featuring Spoon’s intellectual, yet personal approach to indie rock. In early ’97, Matador released the Soft Effects EP, which serves as an excellent summary of Spoon’s early sound, more accomplished than the unrefined Telephono, and including equally amazing songs.

Ron Laffitte signed Spoon to Elektra for the band’s second full-length, A Series of Sneaks, a phenomenal work of succinct, smart rock songs that traveled further away from the Pixies and closer to the distinctive sound Spoon later built. Soon after signing the band, however, Laffitte dropped Spoon, resulting in the vengeful Agony of Laffitte EP, an admirable attack on Laffitte (which was first released on Saddle Creek, and in 2002 attached to the Merge re-issue of A Series of Sneaks).

In 2000, Merge issued the first of its Spoon releases, the transitional Love Ways EP, which, although recorded after Girls Can Tell, acts as the logical bridge between the guitar-rock of A Series of Sneaks and the less traditional Girls Can Tell. GCT embraces a more minimalist style than was previously associated with Spoon, and is noticeably calmer than anything else in the group’s repertoire. Also notably different about GCT is a greater emphasis on lyrics, which results in a couple brilliantly written songs (especially “Everything Hits At Once”, which is at least a few steps above the rest of the band’s repertoire, both lyrically and musically).

Kill the Moonlight, released in 2002, is the boldest Spoon album yet, radically progressing from Girls Can Tell to create a sonically advanced, yet utterly raw rock album. Samples often find their way on to the album when guitars do not, lending the album a palpable sparseness, but despite this, KTM manages to hit listeners harder than its predecessors did. KTM is not as consistent as other Spoon full-lengths, but given its ambition, this is entirely forgivable; more important is that Spoon will undoubtedly improve upon KTM’s sound with its next release. And that’s just what makes Spoon the amazing band it is – an ability to keep fans guessing and anticipating that stems from the band’s steady progression and constant innovation.

Quick Facts:

Current members: Britt Daniel, Jim Eno, Joshua Zarbo

Location: Austin, Texas

Style: Wry, energetic indie rock

Labels Appeared On: Matador, Elektra, Saddle Creek, 12XU, Merge

Major Releases:

Telephono (1996, Matador)
Soft Effects EP (1997, Matador)
A Series of Sneaks (1998, Elektra)
The Agony of Laffitte EP (2000, Saddle Creek)
Love Ways EP (2000, Merge)
Girls Can Tell (2001, Merge)
Anything You Want EP (2001, 12XU)
Kill the Moonlight (2002, Merge)

Starting Point: Soft Effects EP (1997, Matador)

Essential: A Series of Sneaks [US Bonus Tracks] (2002, Merge)


By: Kareem Estefan
2003-09-01


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