Monday, 13 June 2011

Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer

Metal has had it's fair share of embarrassing phases. It spent it's childhood not taking itself to seriously, having fun and rocking out. Then the 80's came and metal reached it's spotty adolescence. Among these awful phases included the make-up wearing black metal phase, and the rebellious anti-establishment satanic death metal.

But nothing is more embarrassing than power metal. With it's lyrics about dragons, knights, princesses, it attempted to come across as a wise monk from the middle ages, and ended up sounding like Mario. Yes, it is something that metal should bury in it's past.

But indie rock? Fuck it works. It really works.

Sunset Rubdown are a Canadian indie rock band, a side project of Wolf Parades frontman and mastermind Spencer Krug. And when I say indie rock I don't mean uplifting, emotive ballads and quirky pop songs. This album is indie rock. Riffs, keyboards, big Bonham-esque drums. And of course those vocals. Krug howls and yelps, like a man with his nerves torn apart. It isn't really about slaying dragons, but fantasy elements are prominent. Krug spits out lyrics about "the icarus in your heart" and "Rapunzel's windowsill". The lyrics really add to the epic feel of the album. The song's arrangements are as important as the songwriting itself (which is excellent). There is the occasionally dud, and the band go too far on a song like "Black Swan", which feels overblown and dull. But this album is practically overflowing with energy and passion. It really is music to rock out to. The fantasy themes are balanced right, without being too serious (Manowar, i'm looking at you) or too ironic.

Catchy, epic, and fuck yeah fun indie rock


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