Sunset Rubdown

Shut Up I Am Dreaming

In a perfect world, side projects would be judged independent of project-projects. But this ain't a perfect world, so Spencer Krug's Sunset Rubdown is just going to have to deal with living in the shadow of his main gig, Wolf Parade. Luckily, Shut Up I am Dreamingis most certainly a shadow-dweller, sounding more like one man wrestling with his demons in a basement than four dudes playfully batting theirs about in a rumpus room. The barely contained ebullience of last year's sensational Apologies to the Queen Mary is here replaced by bleaker fare: "My heart's in my chest, you snake/ You can have the rest, you snake." Yup, Krug's been having trouble with the ladies, and many of these songs reflect this despair: The organ-driven "Swimming" stumbles like a drunk spewing invectives at no one in particular; the minimalist "I'm Sorry I Sang on Your Hands That Have Been in the Grave," lopes along like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. "Snakes Got a Let III" and "Stadiums and Shrines II" hint at the delectably warped melodies Krug makes with his other band, but they fall short of anything truly memorable. The lone standout is "Us Ones in Between," a piano-driven dirge that even features a children's choir. Sings Krug, "I saw the sun go down outside of Arkansas/ I saw the sun come up, somewhere in Illinois/ And in the darkness/ I taught myself to hate/ But where were you, oh where were you, and where'd the fucking sun go." Whoever and wherever you are, please come back before Wolf Parade re-enters the studio.

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