Side projects by definition can be a mixed bag ranging from the sublime (The Travelling Wilburys) to the ridiculous (Them Crooked Vultures). Somehow what looks terrific on paper often ends up being less than the sum of its parts. That said I naturally enough approached the debut release from Divine Fits with a certain degree of trepidation. The good news is there’s nothing to fear here. This isn’t so much a wannabe supergroup as a musical marriage of convenience. The demise of the handsome furs saw Dan Boeckner without a band, so he’s joined forces with Spoon frontman Britt Daniels and New Bomb Turks drummer Sam Brown to form something a bit different. Daniels and Boeckner are friends with a few years and they’ve long been looking for the opportunity to do something together. Circumstances have thrown this band together and they’ve jumped on the opportunity.
Amalgamating a few different bands’ sounds can often be a troublesome affair but the threesome have managed it with some degree of style. Teaser single ‘My Love is real’ painted a picture of what was to come. It’s all crackling synths and dirty beats. There are shades of Neil Tennant here and a dash of electro that gels together well to deliver a cracking opening single. So far, so unpredictable. ‘Flagging a ride’ throbs along over a simple pulsating baseline. It’s a strong track in an album of strong tracks. ‘Baby gets worse’ delivers more pulsating electro pop. ‘Would that not be nice’ is surely a strong contender for a single slot with its marriage of buzzing bass and a deliciously scratchy riff.
All in all this is an excellent record from start to finish. The pacing is pitch perfect with tightly wound guitar meeting soaring synth and bass awash with thumping percussion in a symphony of electro rock goodness. It’s less car crash team up and more supergroup wish fulfilment. The trio have distilled in one record a chemistry that some acts can go years without achieving. There’s a wealth of indie talent on show here and they thankfully hit all their marks and then some. ‘A thing called Divine fits’ shows three musical pros on top form and is an accomplished treat of a release.