Built To Spill
Musicians are also fans, and a musician's influences can be revealing. Usually, it's a person who hit a nerve, blazed a trail or was like minded.
Neil Young was one of the first Rock musicians to win some semblance of artistic independence. Over the course of his four-decade career, Young ventured into Folk, Electronic, Rock-A-Billy and Country. Along the way he also managed to pick up the Godfather of Grunge handle. But it was Young's plaintive expressiveness that struck a chord with Doug (sometimes Dug) Martsch, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the Boise based Built To Spill.
Martsch was in Treepeople for three albums before moving on, linking up with former Butterfly Train bassist Brett Nelson. Following Built To Spill's indie debut, "Ultimate Alternative Wavers" ('93), on the CZ label, drummer Andy Capps, also from Butterfly Train, joined. Scott Plouf eventually replaced him.
Built To Spill moved to the Up! label for their next two projects, "There's Nothing Wrong With Love" and a split EP with Caustic Resin (great name) which led to a major label deal with Warner Brothers.
"Perfect From Now On" ('97) and "Keep It Like A Secret" ('99) albums were welcomed by a growing fan base and resulted in the recording of a nine song live set in '00. Rather than rehash their studio material "Live" also had a handful of covers, including Young's "Cortez The Killer."
"Ancient Melodies of the Future," easily the group's most pop oriented effort, arrived in '01. Five years later, Built To Spill returned with "You In Reverse."
After completing U.S. and Australian treks, Martsch stated Built To Spill would not tour again until they finished their next album. But that didn't happen. The group made another U.S. run in the spring of '08. With that done, Martsch holed up in Idaho to work on the '09 album "There Is No Enemy."
Having expressed an interest in producing a collaborative album with the entire group, "There Is No Enemy" consisted largely of songs Martsch been composing and recording on his own. The effort was one of the group's better charting albums. Still, that didn't mean there would be a follow-up in a timely manner.
Built To Spill unfurled "Untethered Moon," in '15. Their first release in six years included new band members Steve Gere (drums) and Jason Albertini (bass).
1992 Ultimate Alternative Wavers
1994 There's Nothing Wrong With Love
1997 Perfect From Now On
1999 Keep It Like a Secret
2001 Ancient Melodies Of The Future
2006 You In Reverse
2009 There Is No Enemy
2015 Untethered Moon
Martsch has an uncanny knack for sounding like Neil Young. That aside, Built To Spill present two schools of thought. Those who like the long, quirky songs with extended guitar solos featuring blazing fret work should check out "There's Nothing Wrong With Love" ('94). Looking for post-Punk/Psychedelic influenced Rock with an accessible sheen "Ancient Melodies Of The Future" is the way to go.
The remainder of the Built To Spill catalog amply illustrates both tendencies.