OK this has been out for aaaages (April I think) but it's still SSPU & it's still excellent & regularly played.
So I've banged on about this band before (i.e. here, here, here, here, & here), I've called them my band of 2008 but I would also call them my band of 12009 as well.
I've been lucky enough to see them twice & I can't really over emphasize how good they are live - hugely energetic & really excited to be playing - they have fun with the crowd & try to get the room dancing as well.
Anyways enough about the live win, the album itself. So it's actually only 10 tracks, but what stunning tracks they are:
"There's No Secrets This Year"
"The Royal We"
"Growing Old Is Getting Old"
"It's Nice to Know You Work Alone"
"Catch and Release"
"Surrounded (or Spiraling)"
On the first play I wouldn't believe the quality of the first 5 tracks - absolute stonkers & I would be hard pressed to say which I preferred most - there were elements that I liked & was reminded of other bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters & of course Smashing Pumpkins (who they are likened to, just with a happy frontman!), but it still feels very SSPU - not covering or interpreting. I think it's more a compliment to be likened to those other bands, rather than it being anything to diminish who they are.
The rest of the album sounded great...when I got past track 5 eventually that is! They songs weren't as instantly successful on my ear, but really grew on me with the last 3 sticking & getting stuck in my head on a regular basis But add to that the rather stunning "Currency of Love" & "Ne Plus Ultra" as B-Sides & you have a brilliant 5/5 album.
It is different from the first & I would argue all the better for it. You can definitely tell the band have improved, with more intricate guitar work & more integrated keyboard as well. There are still some tracks that make you want to rawk out - initial single "Panic Switch" being chief amongst them.
Overall they remain my band of 2009...let's see what they do for their (hopefully great) third album.