Built To Spill – Perfect From Now On (1997)


Built To Spill are an Indie Rock band from Idaho, formed in 1992. In the late ’90s and early ’00s Built To Spill were considered one of the ‘big’ Indie Rock bands, alongside groups like Modest Mouse, The Dismemberment Plan, Guided By Voices and Pavement.  The band’s roster has changed since its initial conception. The line-up for their 3rd full-length album was Doug Martsch (Guitar/Vocals), Brett Nelson (Bass) and Scott Plouf (Drums). Additional musicians are featured on some of the songs.

Perfect From Now On is one of those albums that I originally didn’t understand why it received such huge critical acclaim.. Initially, I liked parts of the album particularly Track No.2  ‘I Would Hurt A Fly’ as it’s sampled in the song by Cage, ‘Ballad of Worms.’ Apart from that, I thought the rest was pretty dull and boring – but I kept returning to it until it finally ‘clicked.’

The sound on the album is very guitar-driven, with layer upon layer of guitars. The songwriting on here is also fantastic. For example, from ‘I Would Hurt a Fly,’ where Doug Martsch flips the common phrases “There isn’t a mean bone in his body.” and “That guy just wouldn’t hurt a fly.” “There’s a mean bone in my body/It’s connected to the problems that I won’t take for an answer/And I won’t take that from you/Because I’d hurt a fly.”The album never gets ‘too serious’, I challenge anyway to listen to ‘Kicked It In The Sun’ and not picture a beautiful sunny day, on a beach.

All of the songs on the album seem to be a collection of different ideas, which is presumably why most of the songs exceed 6 minutes. The song ‘Out of Site’ for example, contains so many distinct parts to it. The song ‘Paranoid Android’ by Radiohead is often praised for it’s 3-4 distinct parts, well ‘Out of Site’ has about twice as many. That being said, it never seems like they’re trying to do it, just to do it. Each segment flows perfectly into the next.

The album is undoubtedly an essential Indie Rock album with a huge amount of influence. If you haven’t heard it – I encourage you to do so.

I’m not really the kind of person that hands out  100/100 ratings, but I seriously can’t think of a single flaw in the album.

Overall: 99.99/100 (Yeah… I couldn’t do it.)

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