Thursday, 9 October 2008

Okkervil River - The Stand Ins

Okkervil River - The Stand Ins (***)
album review for the skinny

What now comprises The Stand Ins was originally intended to be the second disc of a double album with The Stage Names, which was instead released last year on its own. Possessing neither the brash melodic agility of that record, nor the dizzying lyrical depths of Black Sheep Boy before it, The Stand Ins won’t be received quite so well; but don’t dismiss this as an off-cuts album. With character portraits as vivid as these, Okkervil River simply couldn’t have kept The Stand Ins off the stage. Will Sheff is mostly concerned with the troubled minds of those on the fringes of fame, and thanks to tracks like Singer-Songwriter, where he gleefully dissects the faults of a self-obsessed muso, and On Tour With Zykos, where he depicts the regretful hurt of a rock star’s latest disposed one night stand, it’s difficult to think of a current indie-rock lyricist who can match him.

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