Spoon - Got Nuffin EP, Review & Giveaway

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Spoon
Got Nuffin EP

Spoon-GotNuffin

Merge
out June 30th

60/100
[Rating Scale]

404

[rating:60/100]
Fresh on the heels of the news that they’ll be recording a new Long Player this summer, Spoon the band has gone ahead and released a summertime EP to tide over rabid fans.  It’s hardly more than a glorified single – a solid radio-ready summer tune backed by a marching b-side, a tribal lo-fi instrumental track, and a remix of said tribal lo-fi instrumental track.  But for loyal fans of utensils, who haven’t gotten a new song since 2007, this morsel will ease the hunger pangs.

Spoon is no stranger to the EP; Got Nuffin is their 6th entry into the medium.  2008’s the Don’t You Evah EP took The Natural History’s “Don’t You Evah” and covered and remixed it into oblivion.  Others, like Love Ways EP and Soft Effects EP, took a more traditional approach to the format, with five unique songs making up the releases.  Got Nuffin is a bit of a compromise between the two – short, mostly sweet, and a bit repetitive.

The title track kicks off the EP with a familiar bop backing Britt Daniels’ voice.  Daniels and co. channel James Murphy, with LCD Soundsystem-like yelps and a pulsing beat, but the song doesn’t quite take off the way Murphy’s do.  Instead, it shows off some guitar work and remains anchored by vocals.  It’s fairly standard fare from the band – enjoyably inoffensive and bordering on catchy.  Though it’s not my favorite Spoon-tune, it’s certainly palatable, and a good reminder that the band is still hard at work.

Next comes the instrumental “Tweakers”, a surprisingly interesting song.  It rides on a hand-slapped drumbeat, handclaps, and a maraca, with a piano occasionally making a foray into the mix.  Predictability here is key, and the song grinds along until you’re into it, winning you over.  It’s grungy yet clean, and could signify a really interesting path for Spoon.

The third tune, “Stroke Their Brains”, is back to more traditional Spoon (if there is such a thing), lo-fi, catchy, jazzy, and deceptively layered.  A weird echo-y vocal effect is a little disconcerting – I prefer Daniels’ voice unadulterated – but on the whole the song is pretty good.  Although I think I’m supposed to like “Got Nuffin” more, I think this is my favorite tune on the EP.

The final song on the EP is a bit of a cop-out remix of track two, “Tweakers”.  It’s banal and puerile, and detracts rather than adds to the release as a whole.  Seems a bit like a last-minute addition to a 3-song EP that needed a little more substance.  Bleh.

All in all, Got Nuffin is a fine between-albums EP.  It whets the appetite for a full length Spoon release (hopefully coming soon) without trying to do too much.  “Got Nuffin” and “Stroke Their Brains” are catchy enough to snag some ears, and I could see “Tweakers” working its way into much more interesting remixes than the one found on this EP.  It’s a nice-to-have for Spoon fans, and a quick listen for people intrigued by what Britt and friends have been up to.  Definitely check it out if you have fifteen minutes free, but don’t feel obligated to clear your schedule for it.

To enter to win a copy of Spoon’s Got Nuffin EP, leave a comment with your thoughts on the tracks you’ve just sampled, Spoon, or (if you’ve listened to it) the EP. Make sure you leave your name/email address in the provided fields! Entries will be accepted until July 14th