I mentioned recently to a co-worker that I just picked up The Fragile Army from The Polyphonic Spree and he sneered, "Oh, you're one of those culty-hippie types." Oh, no. Had I revealed too much of myself in that one comment? What had I done? I never thought of myself as a hippie. Oh sure, there were a few tie dye shirts in my past, but it was more for show than any political statement. And I've always learned to avoid cults (as well as mass graves) thanks to my Mom's neurotic advice.
I remember seeing The Polyphonic Spree four years ago in Central Park. All 20-some-odd members took the stage in multi-colored choir robes and began singing songs about sunshine, hope and love. Sounds completely dreadful and cult-like, I know, but I was sucked in and before I knew it I was considering buying one of those colorful robes and joining the band. After all, there are 20 different members what's one more? Would anyone notice? Needless to say I didn't join, but was tempted yet again when I saw them at Irving Plaza. At that show they came from the back of the theater during the encore and snaked their way to the stage hand in hand. This time I bought a tambourine after the show. I was hooked.
The Spree are back with The Fragile Army and this time they've ditched the colorful choir robes for black military outfits. Okay, that's a little spooky. but have no fear. The songs on this new album are upbeat and still filled with hope. I love "Running Away," "Guaranteed Nightlife" and the title track "The Fragile Army". So, OK maybe I am one of those hippie types ready to join a cult. I can't wait to see them again and maybe this time I will get one of those choir robes and wear that to work. What will my co-worker say then?
Follow Matt Budd on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ibookmatt