Review: The Spinto Band – Cool Cocoon (2013)

Not even a year after their last full-length release, Shy PursuitThe Spinto Band are right back at it with Cool Cocoon. The quick turnaround isn’t too much of a surprise for the indie rock ensemble as they often recorded self-releases at will back in the band’s early days. With Cool Cocoon, The Spinto Band continues to shape and develop their eclectic sound. The fun and energy is still present, however the overall sound has graduated on to one which is more complete, but also somewhat belabored. The continual doldrums of life’s bumps and bruises have started to take their toll on the young band from Wilmington, Delaware, and Cool Cocoon is the sympathetic and collected sounds of rolling with the punches.

Opening track, “Shake It Off,” lyrically addresses the overall state Cool Cocoon’s mood: “Shake it off, I’m leaving. I’ve had enough, I’m unhappy with dreaming.” Nick Krill’s striving vocals dance over a catchy, balanced melody. A battered and emotionally-exhausted song, but it still finds a way to be fun: “Shake it off” as the chorus remedies. It has the potential to be a radio-friendly hit; a great start to the album. The  keyboard-entangled “What I Love” is another early bright spot. It showcases a nifty guitar solo and offers a  refreshingly upbeat moment on the new album.

When listening to Cool Cocoon, one can’t help but be reminded by some of the varied sounds on it. The bouncy intro on “Amy + Jen” along with high-pitched vocal hooks give the track a sort of MGMT feel. “Na Na Na,” on the other hand, vocally channels the stylings of Julian Casablanca’s commanding baritone. While “Static” is a beautifully lush ballad in the vein of Buddy Hollyand the warm vibes encompassed in the early days of rock n’roll. Even with a wide-ranging scope of sounds, The Spinto Band still finds a way to make everything their own brand. Cool Cocoon is a wonderful benchmark in their identity progression over the years.

There are a number of solid tunes on the new album; however, none are more exceptional than the delicately grand “Memo.” Backed with a simple metered beat and a xylophone melody, Krill lulls of somber and attentive recollection: “You threw all my papers in kerosene, cause you lost connection through the memory.” The instrumentation isn’t overcomplicated. The song doesn’t incorporate anything more than exactly what it needs. The result is an honest and natural arrangement and sound– a Spinto Band sound. “Memo” is one of their finest songs to date.

Less than a year after the release of their last full-length, The Spinto Band have returned with a notable new album. Cool Cocoon highlights the continued growth and formation of the band’s own unique and multi-dimensional sound. The new songs may not present as much fun quirkiness as incorporated in past hits such as “Oh Mandy,” but Cool Cocoon doesn’t seem to be that type of album. So then, what is Cool Cocoon? It’s an inspiring and complete collection of songs with some impressive, memorable highlights; it may just be the album before the breakout album.

Rating: 7.3/10

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