A Slightly Bumpy Ride
The success of Built to Spillâ€šÃ„Ã´s music has always rested on Doug Martschâ€šÃ„Ã´s melancholy vocal delivery and the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s classic â€šÃ„Ãºby the indie-rock bookâ€šÃ„Ã¹ sound. On You In Reverse, their first album in 5 years, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s clear that the band is trying to progress into more spontaneous and free-form directions. The most un-Built to Spill songs featured here are either very natural or extremely longwinded. The crunchy riffs and pounding drums of â€šÃ„ÃºMess With Time,â€šÃ„Ã¹ are a pleasant addition to the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s arsenal of sound. The song eventually transcends into a prog-like 70s style hard rock dirge. In the case of â€šÃ„ÃºWherever You Goâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºConventional Wisdom,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the band goes a bit a stray. The former starts out as a fresh, down-tempo number with a strong melody and fierce guitar work, until around the five minute mark when the song suffers from simply being too long. The latter begins as one of the best pop songs the band has written in years, but then is plagued by a needlessly extended guitar solo. The albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s true hero is â€šÃ„ÃºGoinâ€šÃ„Ã´ Against Your Mind;â€šÃ„Ã¹ a nine minute sprawling epic that stretches the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s sound and never becomes tiresome. Spine-tingling riffs and rapid-fire drums disintegrate into ambient guitars and lush vocals. One wishes that the entire album held the same kind of magic.
You in Reverse is the story of a band determined to change gears and head into new directions. On certain tracks they prove that their evolution will not be in vain, on others they make it apparent that we may be in for a bumpy ride.