The Fragile Army
These are troubling times for devotees of The Polyphonic Spree, the cult band from Texas. They’ve traded in their Technicolor robes for a batch of budget ‘Black Parade’-style military uniforms. Most worryingly of all, though, the Spree’s stock-in-trade happy-clappy hymns about love, togetherness and the sun have, for the main, been replaced by darker, dirtier rock numbers with telling titles like ‘We Crawl’ and ‘Overblow Your Nest’. That’s not to say that The Polyphonic Spree have gone completely Arcade Fire. Bandleader Tim DeLaughter’s default mode of songwriting is still melodic pop, and no amount of dressing down can disguise the sugary seam running through seemingly ambiguous love songs like the ‘Sgt Pepper’-y ‘Get Up And Go’, or reflective first single ‘Running Away’. There’s plenty of interest here, then – but is anyone still listening?