It's been three long years since the release of The Spinto Band's last album Nice and Nicely Done, and the amount of time that has passed might suggest a departure in the band's sound. If anything, though, Moonwink serves to reinforce the sound that defined their last release: bubbly, intricate layers that rely heavily on vocal harmonies to glue them together.
Clever instrumentation has always been one of The Spinto Band's strong suits, and from the opening handclap / guitar riff tradeoffs of the first track, "Later On," it's apparent that this is something the Delaware six-piece has only gotten better at with time. Never content with basic guitar-driven jangle pop, these songs are punctuated by xylophones, keyboard breaks, and a tasteful selection of horns. The effect is that of an indie pop band playing the soundtrack to the obligatory "saloon" scene in a Western spoof. For the most part, each song is a complex but generally merry affair.
The Spinto Band's greatest asset on Moonwink is in its ability to combine this merriment with a tangle of lyrics that are at once highly articulate and beautifully alliterated. On tracks like "Needlepoint," rhyme and reason come together for an effect that is profound in a way that always seems to rhyme. "I am just for a moment, carefully spoken, broken, wearing what I just woke up in," sings lead vocalist Nick Krill. These songs are not just melodic. They are tongue twisters in and of themselves, and the effect is nothing short of delightful.
If anything, Moonwink suffers from a lack of slowing down; few of the tracks on this album bring down its frenetic pace. Rather than allow for some build up, most of the album comes racing right out of the gate, and the result is a bit dizzying. On Nice and Nicely Done, The Spinto Band proved that it was capable of taking it down a notch; on Moonwink, one starts to wish it would, if only for a minute or two. Regardless, it remains a solid effort through and through.
The Spinto Band
Park The Van Records