Built to Spill
Untethered Moon


3.5
great

Review

by oodlesofnoodles USER (9 Reviews)
May 6th, 2015 | 32 replies


Release Date: 04/21/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Built To Spill is the greatest tease in the music industry. Will they ever actually spill?

Similar to their transition from Perfect From Now On to Keep It Like A Secret, Built To Spill have once again traded in the sad guitars for a distortion pedal. The lyrics, the production, even the album art has taken a complete 180 from There Is No Enemy, and to great effect. Doug Martsch is happy again, and that translates to a much more accessible album.

Within the first moments of Untethered Moon, the album settles itself right in with the rest of Built To Spill's works, learning from the past without dwelling on it. Any long-standing fan of the band will not be disappointed nor surprised by the quality of the work here; guitar-driven indie rock with Doug Martsch's barely-meeting-the-pitch vocals floating throughout. The most important distinction this record makes from past efforts is how light-hearted it is. The songs are sarcastically meta at times ("All Our Songs" and "Some Other Song," for example), and others are the most up-beat tunes we've heard since Keep It Like A Secret. As much as I love the "Oh Yeah"'s and the "I Would Hurt A Fly"'s of Built To Spill's discography, the lighter songs will always sound like a breath of fresh air, and it's refreshing to have another album dedicated to that saturated, sun-bleached sound.

All of that being said, it is hard to rate this album as highly as some of their past landmarks. It is nice to not be disappointed by a new Built To Spill album, but that doesn’t mean this will blow you away. The band doesn't get as big as There Is No Enemy, as introspective as Perfect From Now On, and while songs like "Another Day" are catchy, they don’t have the staying power of Keep It Like A Secret. Once you get past all of Built To Spill's trademark guitars and amazing production value, you get the feeling by the time the tenth track rolls around that they’re cashing it in a little. At a 45 minute run-time including 8 minute closer "When I’m Blind," it really isn’t too much of a complaint, Martsch and company clearly trimmed the fat to avoid filler.

Untethered Moon is a Built To Spill album, and there are songs here that I cannot wait to see live. The change of pace is commendable, I just wish this album was more memorable. Built To Spill is still one of the best acts in the Indie community today, but in their efforts to lighten their sound they lost an anchor. Untethered Moon is good, really good even, but it is fated to be pushed behind the band’s earlier works.



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user ratings (131)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
oodlesofnoodles
May 6th 2015


66 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey, first time reviewing in a while. Someone else will probably write a better review for this, but I figured a quick write-up/place-holder review would be good.



This album is really more a 3.7 for me, I hope the low rating by BTS' standards doesn't scare anyone away. It's a really solid album.

SeaAnemone
May 6th 2015


21408 Comments


Agree wholeheartedly with your take on this -- definitely Martsch's best since his classic albums.

Some of the earlier tracks like Living Zoo and All Our Songs are amongst my favorite BTS songs ever, I think. Solid album.

oodlesofnoodles
May 6th 2015


66 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the pos man, means a lot.



It's a pity their tour isn't coming to NE, I haven't seen them live yet =/

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 6th 2015


15004 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

fucking rules

Chortles
May 6th 2015


21381 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice



i gotta hear this

hogan900
May 7th 2015


2929 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review man.

WatchItExplode
May 7th 2015


6553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Most of the material here can barely be considered songs, but the guitar work feels more energetic and fun than it has in a long time. Like the reviewer, I really look forward to hearing a few of these songs live. I think we can anticipate 20 minute versions of When I'm Blind for sure.

RadicalEd
May 7th 2015


9510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The cover is so bad omg. The album on the other hand is great.

Digging: Fennesz - Agora

oodlesofnoodles
May 7th 2015


66 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Explode, that sent shivers down my spine hah, so pumped to hear that.



Radical, I kinda like it. I mean it's not the best album art ever but it goes well with the sound of the album imo

WatchItExplode
May 7th 2015


6553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think there is much question oodles. 20 min may be an exaggeration, but I can see it as an extended set closer. You know how Doug likes to just keep adding layers until the room feels like it's going to explode. That song in particular really seems to lend itself to that looping jam thing he loves to do.



Review was concise and descriptive btw, pos.

loveisamixtape
May 7th 2015


7743 Comments


every song on this is so good

Underflow
May 13th 2015


4867 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The last track is incredible.

NorthernSkylark
May 13th 2015


9265 Comments


"yet another album to put on the cat album art list"

Digging: Sebadoh - III

grannypantys
May 28th 2015


2007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

never thought i'd say this about a bts album but



it could use more guitar wankery

Sebinator
June 20th 2015


69 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wasn't hyped for this at all but I really like it; totally suprised me. I think it could have done without the whole "maltesian riot" part which is pretty cringe-worthy, though On the Way is still a pretty good song.



Also, Living Zoo has a killer groove!

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 20th 2015


15004 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

2Nd fav ofthe year so far

AdolfChrist
June 21st 2015


20673 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the artwork is bad yeah, in a good way imo. i like it.

Digging: Horsehunter - Horsehunter

WatchItExplode
June 22nd 2015


6553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is BTS therefore solid. Cat album art is alway solid.

AmericanFlagAsh
August 7th 2015


8671 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gave this a shot

First two songs were so good

Rest was alright



So is pretty cool

WatchItExplode
August 7th 2015


6553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hope this isn't the first BTS album you have heard...



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