Spiritualized, Nikki Lane | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thu., May 3, 8 p.m. 2012
Price: $27, $25 in advance
Lots of bands play grandiose, dreamy indie rock, but you just know it's a Spiritualized album when that Hammond organ rolls through. On "Hey Jane," the first proper song on Jason "Spaceman" Pierce's newest effort, Sweet Heart, Sweet Light (Fat Possum), a simple organ slide five seconds in doubles as the starting-line bang to the best Spiritualized album since 1997's seminal Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. The nearly nine-minute lead single (because Spiritualized doesn't care about the radio) is a triumph—direct, bouncy, and less noisy than usual, but just as surely lifting up the band's characteristic ice-capped mountains of sweeping rock, tinged with blues, gospel, and soul. "Hey Jane" breaks down midsentence, backs over itself, and gets slow and haunting, with an urgent snare drum pulling the guitar lines taut—while in his nasal voice, Pierce keeps asking, "Hey Jane, when you gonna die?" Though it's incredibly addictive (I can seriously barely stop listening to it), its hooks have an undeniable gutter feel—which, on second thought, makes it even more addictive. "Little Girl" is even bleaker, with lyrics that are vintage Pierce: he can always make you feel like you're better off than he is, and here he opens with the lines "Sometimes I wish that I was dead / 'Cause only the living can feel the pain." After all, a Spiritualized album wouldn't feel right without the strung-out misery (and a whole lot of God talk). —Kevin Warwick


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