Built to Last
Tuesday 20th October 2015 | Cais
Somewhere between one hit wonderland and infallible mega-stardom is a place, a limbo where some of our favourite bands sit and age, maturing like a fine wine. These are the artists that were never big enough to become a cheesy gimmick but dear enough to the right kind of loyal fans to continue cranking out albums, to keep touring and to revamp old songs for a fresher audience. Perhaps no band better embodies this spirit than Boise Idaho alt rockers Built to Spill.
A lot can be said about Built to Spill's ability to keep things so fresh since the release of their 1993 debut full length Ultimate Alternative Universe and the 1994 follow up There's Nothing Wrong With Love, the album that propelled the band into virtually every alternative rock record collection the world over.
Probably the most notable influence on their ever changing but consistently great sound is their habit of album to album line up changes that revolve around founder and only permanent band member, Doug Martsch.
Over the years, Martsch has mastered the ability in his singing, lyricism and guitar playing to combine the perfect amount of grit and raw emotion with the subtle, soft spoken brilliance we expect from a middle aged bearded man with a worn but well loved Fender Stratocaster.
Martsch manages to make fuzzy, distorted guitars seem relaxing, to plunge into a guitar solo without making it a cheesy mess and to create something beautiful record after record without giving us the impression he's just trying to fulfill a contractual obligation to a label.
In April of 2015 the band gave us a new album called Untethered Moon and this summer they suited up for a world tour that has stretched well into the Autumn and brings them to Camden's Electric Ballroom on 25th November. If you haven't already, take some time to get into this these records. Put them on in the background of whatever it is you're doing and ask yourself: When was the last time I saw a band this good?