Saturday Looks Good to Me
Fill Up the Room
While it's impossible to completely pin down the cause, there's been a significant shift in Saturday Looks Good to Me's lo-fi M.O. Where songwriter/arranger Fred Thomas used to cull his ideas predominantly from incessant spins of Belle & Sebastian records, Motown, and girl group adoration during the band's first six years of existence, a four year semi-hiatus sees Thomas only occasionally consulting his former muses and relying heavily on dub, avant garde looping/sampling, and psychedelia to spin his tales.
The familiar pop sensibilities dominate tracks like the doo-wop opener "Apple" and the bouncy "(Even If You Die on the) Ocean", but the band's careening, DIY aesthetic cuts right through the meticulousness of the progenitors of these sounds. The Talking Heads' indebted "Money in the Afterlife" hits closer to the original mark, but even here the nervous post-punk falls apart into ambiance in its mid-section. The most surprising reinvention occurs on "When I Lose My Eyes" and the closer "Whitey Hands." The former twists and turns through dubby echoes and thick reverberation, deliberately building into furious riffing punctuated by horns, cello, and melodica before side-stepping into an anti-hippie drum circle. It's more a track to drown in than dance to. "Whitey Hands" simplifies this formula considerably, beginning with discordant plunks and abrasive percussion and slowly taking shape as a ballad in which Thomas entreats the listener to "sing into your hands 'til everybody understands exactly how you feel".
It seems like that's exactly what Thomas has been doing, building up to this point of hazy, shambling clarity and SLGTM's most singular record thus far.