eMusic Review 0
The first indie-label album ever to hit No. 1 on the college radio charts was an unlikely one: this debut by the peculiar, wonderful duo of singer/guitarist Rebecca Gates and drummer Scott Plouf. The Spinanes had initially been very much a part of the early-'90s "international pop underground" scene ("Entire" mentions a cassette by Olympia, Washington, band the Go Team), but they quickly became as interested in precision and complexity as in soft, fragrant melodies. Gates's lyrics here are impressionistic and emotive, but the duo plays so crisply that they sound absolutely specific. It helped that half of their hooks were rhythmic: "Spitfire" is built around Plouf's snare cracks, "Noel, Jonah and Me" around variations on a stop-time lurch. And they had a sense of negative space that's rare for a rock band — Gates's dreamy murmur and resonant, open-tuned riffs up top, Plouf's inexorable attack at the bottom, and nothing but air between them.