A Thing Called Divine Fits is no ordinary debut — these guys have been around the block a few times. Divine Fits combines the forces of Spoon mastermind Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs founding member Dan Boeckner, and New Bomb Turks drummer Sam Brown. The band oozes confidence, smoothly piecing together an album that plays to the individual members’ strengths.
Daniel and Boeckner share frontman duties, each bringing their distinct singing and songwriting flavors to the table, cooking a varied but ultimately cohesive meal. One track highlights Boeckner’s urgency, while the next eases us with Daniel’s swagger. Boeckner sends us into a frenzy with his neurotic singing and synths on “My Love is Real,” after which Daniel self-assuredly struts over a plodding bass line on “Flaggin a Ride.” Daniel particularly shines throughout, as he rips his vocal chords over solid rock-n-roll, but Boeckner’s synth-heavy arrangements, topped by his frantic vocals, effectively complement Daniel’s tunes.
Regardless of Daniel and Boeckner’s differences in style, a few qualities bind the different tracks together: effective production, earnest vocal lines, and an emphasis on pulsating, toe-tapping rhythm. Most songs settle into a deep and satisfying beat. “Would That Not Be Nice” is a highlight, locking into an easy groove as Daniel’s craggy, reverb-heavy voice duels with a killer bass line and pounding tom drums. Think of the coolest kid you know, the laid-back one who seems to effortlessly win at all facets of life — “Would That Not Be Nice” would be that kid’s theme song.
The term “reliable” often translates to “boring” in people’s minds. A Thing Called Divine Fits, while reliable in every sense of the word, does not have a boring second within its 43 minutes. There may not be anything groundbreaking here, but who needs groundbreaking when something is this cool?
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