Published Aug 01, 2005Although fantabulous drummer and guitarist Jeremy Gara has left for the non-stop train that is the Arcade Fire, this wonderful, addictive album both serves as a coda for his skills and an incredible affirmation of the vision of principals Samir Khan and Jon Georgekish-Watt. Going for sweet harmonies, lush layers and some subtle wit, this is not the Kepler of Fuck Fight Fail. While "The Bedside Manner is the easy standout, due to the crashing guitars and chill-inducing climax, it is over far too soon. During its brief sojourn, though, it keeps a foot in the slow, deliberate pace of yore, but also looks forward with strong vocals and ringing, up-tempo guitars. But, the real eye-opener is "You Must Admit, which throws in the most perfect "woo-hoo this side of Motown. Of course, if these proceedings are all a bit much, skip to "Days of Begging, which stands up to the best in their back catalogue. Transition albums are usually never this clever or confident, but, against all odds, Attic Salt is the sound of a band moving on, and although the destination may still up in the air, it is, by far, in very capable hands.
Attic Salt has a much lighter feel than previous albums, was this purposeful? Khan: It was pretty deliberate. I really was sick of playing at the speed of molasses. It requires a certain amount of dedication from your audience that's awfully unfair to ask for. I was sick of us being that kind of band. My favourite music draws you in, and keeps you there by refusing to pander.
What was the motivation to keep the band going after Jeremy Garas exit to the Arcade Fire? Initially there wasn't any motivation to continue. I was ready to sink the ship for a while and it was kind of disheartening; also, because there's nothing particularly special or unique about it; damn you, Wilco! Jon [Georgekish-Watt] talked me out of everything. He said it would be a shame if those songs didn't get out. And in my heart of hearts, I guess I agreed with him and was just looking for some sort of validation.
Do you feel a shift coming with the addition of new members to the band? Well, my favourite part of the record is the chorus of "The National Epithet. That's probably the part that will most mystify anyone who was familiar with us before. But that's the bit that most excites me and probably most indicative of future directions. (Troubleman)