When there is a collision of famous indie artists, it’s not really an exaggeration to say that the internet world blows up a bit. So a few months back when this project between Indie darlings Dan Boekner, Britt Daniels, Sam Brown and Alex Fischel came to the surface everyone was abuzz with excitement for their debut album. As a fan of Spoon and Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs, the main projects of which Daniels and Boekner are frontmen, I jumped right on the excited bandwagon. How could this much creative genius combine to equal something less than amazing?
First up on the album is the much hyped single “My Love is Real,” which features Boekner taking the lead on vocals and a heavy amount of synthesizer and other electronic sounds. It’s an interesting start, as it is a pretty straightforward song, lyrically and sonically. You have the steady drum machine beats, some thick synth lines and Boekner iterating that “[his] love is real…until it stops;” a tangible one liner that can get itself stuck in your head for hours at a time. Next up is “Flaggin’ a Ride,” on which Daniels takes vocal lead. Noticeably, it sounds a lot more like Spoon, as the first song exhibited signs of Handsome Furs. Apart from the vocal similarities, you have the signature guitar lines that takeover the song and the overall rockier sounding song.
The album progresses gradually, with most of the tracks ringing true to their titles, which are often repeated quite frequently. Another standout, and perhaps the most cohesive song for this group comes on “Baby Get Worse,” on which Boekner has the lead in the beginning and the focus is strong on synth lines and buzzing beats. However, instead of leaving on a one note status, a break comes late in the song with electric guitar surging through with Daniels shortly following, giving it the magic touch of both of these guys. “Shivers” also possesses such a factor of intrigue as “Baby Get Worse,” despite it being an altogether Spoon-ish sounding effort. The lyrics on this ninth track walk a bit on the somber side, but are no less than the brilliance that we’ve all come to know, doling out lines like “my baby’s so vein she’s almost a mirror,” and other quirky darkness that adds to the overall appeal of the Divine Fits.
While this is by no means a bad album, it is a bit of a disappointing one. I was expecting the powers that combined on this work to be greater than the sum of their parts, culminating to an excellent new super group I could get behind. However, A Thing Called the Divine Fits comes across as a mixture of slightly altered songs from the original bands of these gentlemen, but when it’s such talented artists, who’s really complaining?