Divine Fits: A Thing Called Divine Fits
You’ve likely already heard of this trio’s ‘supergroupery’ and certainly the name check sorta justifies it. The lineups Spoon front man Britt Daniel, former mainspring of Montreal outfits Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs Dan Boeckner and Ohio punk stormers New Bomb Turks’ stickman Sam Brown.
A problem with the supergroup thing is it leads to heightened expectations, something more than just a sum of the parts. While the album doesn’t lack its unexpected, shivery moments, the bulk of the tunes and the way they’re put together leave too many references to the old pedigrees showing.
F’r instance, Daniels’ most consistent point of reference here is Spoon’s edgyest album, 2010's "Transference": with its loose guitar jams and psyche synth breaks. It’s also the intersection point where he and Boeckner could comfortably meld their respective strengths.
The result’s a garagey, Goth-dancey, indie rocky flow, signposted by a cover of Nick Cave’s "Shivers”. Picking up the Goth-rock torch, "Flaggin' a Ride" and the Boeckner-sung "What Gets You Alone," hit the sweet spot.
There’s an interesting career dynamic hovering over this project. Britt Daniel’s taken Spoon to a level of creative and commercial success that it’s maintained for a decade. So you know you’re gonna hear the ‘side project’ and ‘hobby’ band knocks.
Dan Boeckner’s stepping swiftly away from the burning wreckage of Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs and his marriage to H.F. partner Alexei Perry. It’s fair to say the success and longevity of Divine Fits carries more weight for him. Good thing then that a growing consensus tags him with the album’s most memorable moments, iuncluding the tense and throbbing “My Love is Real” and the minimalist acoustic intimacy of "Civilian Stripes".
Daniel and Boeckner both claim this is an ongoing project, and it’s to be hoped both are on the level. It’d be a shame if music fans were robbed of the chance to hear what the boys get up to once they get comfortable with the idea of Divine Fits.