Divine Fits are a 2000s super-group of sorts, the semi-commercial indie rock sorts. A Thing Called Divine Fits is their side-project debut. The full length debut for Merge Records includes Handsome Furs / Wolf Parade / Atlas Strategic founder, Dan Boeckner, along with New Bomb Turks‘ Sam Brown and Spoon’s Britt Daniels, and the barely mentioned but all-too-important, Alex Fischel. The latter of the 3, Daniels, has an impeccable streak of recorded gems on his hands with his musical partner in Spoon, Jim Eno. Eno’s touch is missing from Nick Launey’s (Arcade Fire, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Midnight Oil and many more) production with the ‘Fits, but it’s evident.
Imagine a world, the mid-80s in particular, where you’re driving home from Chicago to Rockford, IL on a Friday night after a show in the city to tune the radio dial into a station that’s got the latest synth meets pop meets rock bands on stand-by. There ya have it, the great American band, Spoon, somehow channeled through a radio dial set to 1986.
Britt Daniel & Dan Boekner’s split the 11 compositions but they aren’t the only cause for celebration listening here with A Thing Called Divine Fits. Divine Fits’ stand-out performances are from all involved, the majority of the songs benefit from keys and synth excursions provided by every member of the ‘Fits. This is more than a super-indie-group side project, it’s a record complete with intents to serve the songs their full dues on rhythm, feeling, melodies and moods.
The synth breakdown bridge that occurs on Would That Not Be Nice between the 3:08 to 3:24 markers is killer. Best synth bridge breakdown you’ll hear in a pop song in decades. Decades, 3 at least. The little moments define this record: The build-up to the outro of What Gets You Alone; The reverb synth lines of The Salton Sea; and a brilliant choice of a cover song buried towards the end of the tracklist to take on, Shivers, originally cut by Nick Cave’s first band, The Boys Next Door. A choice song to cover in 2012 being that radio stations barely exist to play good songs anymore; a choice song also banned by radio stations in the early 80s. Good songs, regardless of anyone’s support, seem to end up in the right hands and ears no matter what. A Thing Called Divine Fits, yes, exactly.
Every song on Divine Fits’ debut record appears ready for radio play or long, dark drives in the 80s on a Friday or Saturday night. This is a record to get you back home, maybe it was just that for those involved. A few listens of A Thing Called Divine Fits will have you feeling that the 80s weren’t that bad of an influence, either. There’s divine listening to enjoy, repeatedly, at hand. And finally, lastly, I can’t wait to get my f**k-on-groove to A Thing Called Divine Fits. This is a sexy f**king record— listen to it, now, grab your lover(s) and do it.
Andy Whorehall (SM)
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