Release Date: Mar 24, 2009
Record label: Jagjaguwar
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Experimental
Easy math even I can do: two gigantic heads are better than one, three certainly better than two, and so on and so forth. But when you're talking about records by supergroups, that logic doesn't always hold. Projects run the risk of being trampled by big feet and bigger egos. Avoiding these pitfalls is Swan Lake, that three-headed dragon comprised of left-field Canadian indie rockers Dan Bejar (of Destroyer and the New Pornographers), Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, and Sunset Rubdown) and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes, Blackout Beach).
On their underrated 2006 debut, Beast Moans, Swan Lake, the group composed of Dan Bejar (he of Destroyer), Spencer Krug (he of Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade) and Carey Mercer (he of Frog Eyes), were able to succeed despite having to cram song ideas from three parties into 13 tracks of splintered, bookish indie rock. That the group’s second effort, Enemy Mine, is able to accommodate all three distinct voices in only nine tracks is even more remarkable. But that Enemy Mine is a firm step sideways is less so.
The second offering from Canadian indie rock stalwarts Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers), Spencer Krug (Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade), and Carey Mercer (Blackout Beach, Frog Eyes) does its best to strip away the group's penchant for layering multiple songs atop each other, but a three car pile-up is still a pile-up, and listeners who have managed to remain immune to the trio's idiosyncratic brand of "thespian rock" will no doubt find much of Enemy Mine unlistenable. That said, fans of manic melodies, bohemian pageantry, and synapse melting lyricism have no greater modern champions than Bejar, Krug, and Mercer. Named for the 1985 Wolfgang Petersen-directed, race relations sci-fi film that found Dennis Quaid delivering enemy Louis Gossett, Jr.
With the second albums from Swan Lake and the Handsome Furs arriving within two weeks of each other, it’s becoming clear that Spencer Krug (Swan Lake / Sunset Rubdown / Wolf Parade) and Dan Boeckner (H. Furs / W. Parade) could be the Lennon and McCartney of our generation. No, that’s not to say Wolf Parade are going to be the biggest band in the world, but it’s thrilling to see a pair of songwriters rattling out so much inventive music in such a short space of time.
Assume that the following are true:1). The Velvet Underground’s Loaded was the last album ever released and no one’s heard from Lou Reed or John Cale ever since.2). Ziggy Stardust is either a constellation or a comic strip.3). Eno? Devo? Those are board games, right?In this alternate reality, Enemy Mine, the second album by Indie supergoup Swan Lake, owns the authenticity of the acts that (hadn’t) preceded it.
Enemy Mine was an easily forgotten, so-bad-it's-good sci-fi flick about a pair of sworn-enemy space soldiers who must learn to work together... or die! [rssbreak] Daniel Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers) didn't forget the film's astoundingly simple message. Instead of killing Spencer Krug (Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade) and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes, Blackout Beach), the three continue their supergroup effort in this follow-up to 2006's so-so Beast Moans.
Indie-rock supergroup gets its Asia onThe members of Swan Lake claim that Enemy Mine’s title was originally a Kafka reference, and was changed to avoid being labeled bookish. That’s a strange conceit when every lyric they’ve written is more indecipherable than the last. This patchwork charm, glimpsed on Beast Moans, wears thin on their latest offering, and buckles beneath the pretensions of supergroupdom.
What constitutes a proper supergroup these days? In eras past, such a band’s individual members would need to have moved beaucoup units in order to be considered “super.” Asia was a supergroup. Swan Lake is a band featuring some Canadians. Though they’re not blowing any rails off platinum records, Swan Lake – an indie clan featuring Dan Bejar of Destroyer, Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade and Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes – are really good.