Release Date: Nov 30, 2011
Record label: Spintonic Productions
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
It's always a little startling to realize just how long the Spinto Band have been at it -- Shy Pursuit came out one year after the band's 15th anniversary -- but it's that sense of keeping on over time that seems to have kept the group's merry focus in place, a kind of rushed energy that parallels any number of indie rock fellow travelers without exactly resembling anyone else in particular. So a song like Shy Pursuit's "Muesli" could call to mind bands like Los Campesinos!, Vampire Weekend, and even a bit of Animal Collective, yet at the same time the complicated sunniness of the song, with its bit of brisk hyperactive rhythm section and sweet singing that almost becomes yodeling, exists in its own enjoyable universe. If anything, that genteel but enjoyable vocal approach is the hook throughout the album, giving the bandmembers plenty of opportunities to explore here and there as they choose -- it makes a song like "Take It" turn from being a near four-to-the-floor stomp into their version of an arena rock epic, always breezy and never pointlessly overbearing.
The Spinto Band belong to an elite club of indie one-hit wonders. From the opening strums of mandolin, it was clear that their 2005 track “Oh, Mandy” was a rush of pop perfection. Like other bands of their ilk (Peter, Bjorn & John, etc.), they have since been chasing that moment. With their latest effort, Shy Pursuit, the band has recaptured that moment The Delaware quintet are journeymen of the indie circuit, having formed in 1995 and amassed 10 albums.
The Spinto Band is something like the indie-pop equivalent of a Midwestern state: It catches on to all the trends a few years later than the rest of the country. The quintet's latest album, Shy Pursuit, does indeed sound like a holdout from another (if fairly recent) era; an era when the toast of the indie press wasn't Death Grips and the Men but vaguely twee acts Islands and the Dodos. While it's unreasonable to expect every album to be on the cutting-edge of the culture zeitgeist—many of the best bands seemingly operating in complete ignorance of trends—the weaknesses of the Spinto Band's latest release are compounded by the mildly tired sound.