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New Music: Built to Spill: "They Got Away" / "Rearrange" [Streams]

When we spoke to Doug Martsch last year, he talked a fair amount about reggae. The Jamaican form represents an approach to guitar different from the Neil Young/Dinosaur-derived melodic squall he'd pretty much mastered, and he told us that he and pals from around Boise met regularly to skank-out on instrumentals including a cover of "Back on the Chain Gang".

Now comes "They Got Away", a digital single that is the band's first officially-released stab at the genre. Heavy and lumbering rather than airy and spacious, Martsch's guitar hits are trebly and slightly distorted, definite holdovers from rock. His voice meanwhile has taken on a new smoothness, at times sounding oddly like John Lennon as he talks about political concerns -- "Only a fool takes power at its word."

B-side "Rearrange" continues in the same thematic vein ("Don't ask what your country can do for you," etc.) and embeds the words in a slow, spidery ballad; some impressive slide guitar lends a Southern tinge that evokes the ghost of the late Duane Allman (R.I.P.)


[From the "They Got Away" single; out now on Warner Bros. and available via iTunes]

Posted by Mark Richardson on Thu: 07-12-07: 09:10 AM CDT | Digg this article | Add to del.icio.us | Permalink
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