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Built To Spill | Keep It Like A Secret (City Slang)
1997's Perfect From Now On has been kept, like a secret, close to the hearts of all who find solace amid the powerful, meandering guitar lines and vulnerable, peerless voice of Boise, Idaho's Doug Martsch. As his record label duly acknowledge it should have been revered by all but alas, unfashionable attributes such as musicianship, passion and songwriting mastery failed to excite the fickle, uncaring, marketing-led masses. With Keep It Like A Secret, Built To Spill have stripped away the maze making the route from a to b more direct, thus it's less obviously indulgent (not a criticism) than 'Perfect...'. Unequivocally and unashamedly a rock record, Martsch and his rhythm section of Brett Nelson and Scott Plouff seem to draw from a hitherto undiscovered second volume of classic progressions to create a record brimming with vitality tempered with knowing wit ('I don't like this air but that doesn't mean I'll stop breathing it') and fresh, intelligent pop hooks. Keep it.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #4 - Winter 1998/9 - The Lost Issue

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