Back in 2005, the Delaware band Spinto Band released Nice and Nicely Done on Bar/None Records and the song “Oh Mandy” hit the airwaves. At the time, this album was the new cutting edge indie rock and it was obvious Spinto Band had a future. I remember the first time I heard that beautiful mandolin; I was instantly hooked and needed to hear what else these talented lads had to say. On June 16th, 2017 Bar/None re-released Nice and Nicely Done on vinyl that includes 12 outtakes recorded in Tennessee over a couple of summers with the same engineer and producer prior to the 2005 release. Listening to these songs transported me into the diaries of high school teenagers. With charming and quirky lyrics, a mixture of poppy synths and fuzzy ’60s guitar riffs, and topping it off with odes to Pavement and Built to Spill, these basement like sessions will take a new special place in my heart. My favorite parts about the outtakes are the first track, “When Things Are Placid”, the totally amusing “Tractor” and (if you’ve ever lived in a small town) the wistfulness of “Small Burg”.
I was able to chat with Nick Krill a little about the re-issue and the upcoming shows the band has. Since Nice and Nicely Done was never released on vinyl in the US, the band and record label Bar/None thought it would be fun to do an anniversary release including bonus tracks. They picked songs they felt would be pairings with the reissue. Krill doesn’t think many of the outtakes hold up and a few of the LP tracks seem a bit weird now, but it has been a lot of fun to revisit the songs. I had a laugh when Nick told me that if he could go back to that time what would he do differently, he said “Tell myself to get a haircut.” HA!
There are no plans to keep the band going past the few shows they have to promote the reissue but who knows. There are a lot of bands who go many years without playing together or releasing new material. Bands like Sleater Kinney, Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Portishead and Modest Mouse have all done it. Krill’s favorites that have taken a long hiatus from releasing new material are “John Lennon and Randy Newman. Even though he was doing soundtracks he [Randy Newman] had eleven years between “Land of Dreams” and “Bad Love”. It’s only been four years since Spinto Band’s last big show and release but I am sure their fans are itching for more poppy tunes from them.
I have had the distinct pleasure of sitting in on some of the practices gearing up for the new shows as well as seeing them play a secret warm up show in Wilmington, Delaware a couple of weeks ago and I think they are ready and eager to please crowds. Krill admits that it’s been a little rusty but fun to play with everyone again. “The warm up show,” for Krill, “was important to hear how we all played as a unit on a stage at this particular time. It was a good opportunity to hear what aspects of the tunes translated well, and what didn’t…what needed to be emphasized and what needed to be dialed back.” Some of the tunes that Krill finds the most fun to play that they haven’t played in about ten years or so are “Spy vs Spy” and “So Kind Stacey”; “Oh, Mandy” will never leave repertoire.
It’s nothing new that Spinto Band made a mark on the music world and it’s only natural that some of them continue to make music; Nick Krill has been touring with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, producing and recording music with other bands as well as the project he and Joe Hobson started a few years ago called Teen Men and Thomas Hughes has been working on a project with Gretchen Lohse called Carol Cleaveland Sings. There is just so much talent in Spinto Band that it is great to see other projects forming around the hiatus. I can see how it would be fun to re learn your old songs after you have evolved musically. “Every time I play, something new comes to light. I actually found that I needed to go back to how I used to play guitar ten or eleven years ago to make some of these tunes feel right,” Krill tells me.
The Spinto Band is always reliable with energy and brilliance, especially live! They will be playing at Rough Trade in NYC on July 29th and Great Scott in Boston on July 30th.