The Polyphonic Spree-The Fragile Army

After Tim’s dalliance with the ‘Thumbsucker’ soundtrack the Spree are back and on form. Back are the big arrangements, multi-instrumental, choir filled songs of pure uplifting joy. Anyone who previously hated the over top happiness of it all will not find any respite here. The noticeable difference straight away is how fuller and more mature each song sounds, they seem to have grown from a 24 strong group of hippies who could all play something into a full musical force to be reckoned with. From opener ‘together we’re heavy’ it’s a full on assault to the ears, in a nice way. This is The Polyphonic Spree with balls a re-invention that doesn’t stop at the tunes as the robes are replaced with black jump suits, a kind of Slipknot you could take home to meet your mother. It seems that they have embraced everything that’s great about being in a big band, the grand sounds of bands like E.L.O. and ‘Sly and the family stone’, but without losing their own identity. In other ways as well, Tim’s lyrics have also matured, he’s not singing so much about sunshine and flowers, well not directly anyway. Where the fragile army came from doesn’t matter but it does make the previous two albums seem like mere practice to get to this point. Fans will no doubt relish in this bombastic step forward and will look forward to swapping the robes for jumpsuits, as far as the general music buying populous will take it will need to be seen, but I don’t see anyone having an excuse not to embrace a band with their own sound right at the top of their game so far. My only disappointment was that they didn’t include their cracking cover version of Nirvana’s ‘lithium’ (find it as a b-side on the wait e.p.)But oh well you can’t have everything. Here to the march of the newest army in town.
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