Sunset Rubdown – Dragon Slayer
Well, isn’t it a funny thing how bands progress? The last Sunset Rubdown release we reviewed (Shut Up I Am Dreaming) was for me a bit too clumpy, and forced. I didn’t hold out much for them.
This record however has a touch of the glorious about it. Especially with barnstorming tracks like Idiot Heart, which just keeps on keeping on; gloriously building up to a classic, over–emotive ending. And following that is the Sparks-tastic Apollo and the Buffalo and Anna Anna Anna Oh, which (along with You Go On Ahead) doesn’t half feel like it should be nestling somewhere on Woofer In Tweeter’s Clothing. So there you go; it’s a sleek, powerful record, at times playing with big, rawk, sub U2 gestures albeit with a discernable panache. You get the stomps (such as Black Swan) but they have a lot more subtlety and finesse in the arrangements, as well as an evident humour.
The quieter tracks have a certain charm too; they’re jauntier, lighter and possess a more subtle appreciation of texture. Paper Lace is a veritable charmer, flouncing around in a sub-Bowie manner. And Nightingale Waltz is a fabulously Baroque, erm, waltz… (are waltzes Baroque? Probably not but you get my drift hopefully)
It’s nice to see a band leaving the best track till last, Dragon’s Lair is a veritable Murder Mystery, taking all of eight meandering minutes to get into its stride. It’s fabulous.
A very good release indeed.
Words: Richard Foster