[Indie Rock]

Sunset Rubdown

Dragon Slayer

A lot gets said about Spencer Krug’s multi-band prolificacy, when what truly deserves praise is the 32-year-old Canadian’s consistency across his many fronts. Listen to, for example, Swan Lake’s “All Fires,” Wolf Parade’s “Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts” and Sunset Rubdown’s “Us Ones in Between”—songs on albums released during a single 14-month span—and it’s pretty apparent the guy operates from some rarefied songwriting space.

The Details

Four stars
Beyond the Weekly
Sunset Rubdown

As the project for which Krug composes almost single-handedly, Sunset Rubdown offers the truest barometer of his powers. And, judging from the band’s recent output, a strong case could be made that his skills are sharpening still: 2007’s Random Spirit Lover sounds more epic every day, while new follow-up Dragonslayer proves that Krug can simplify his style without suffering a decline.

If the disc consisted of its leadoff cut and seven duds, it would still command attention—“Silver Moons” is that gorgeous, its lyrics loaded with mysterious gravitas (“Gone are the days bonfires make me think of you/Looks like the prophecy came true”), its bristling guitar threatening to detonate. But, then, we’re talking about a Spencer Krug project, so the other seven cuts aren’t duds; most are less anthemic than what came before, but even when he’s straight-ahead rocking, Krug isn’t rocking straight ahead. So songs like “Idiot Heart” and “Black Swan” twitch a tad here and tic a touch there, till the best way to describe what’s happening is only that they Krug.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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