Support the news
Audio for this feature is no longer available.
The word "supergroup" gets thrown around like so much confetti, then affixed to any band whose members have worked on high-profile projects of any kind in the past. But not all supergroups are the bloated product of committee thinking or Frankensteinian ego exercises; some are just established musicians who've discovered organically that they like working with certain other established musicians.
Divine Fits will surely get tagged as a supergroup, though its members — Spoon's Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, and New Bomb Turks' Sam Brown, with Alex Fischel helping out on keyboards — aren't exactly Mick Jagger teaming up with Dave Stewart in the fame department. Their projects are known and respected, absolutely, but even Daniel is hailed as much for his fussed-over pop-rock craftsmanship as he is for his stage persona.
Aside from a teaser single, A Thing Called Divine Fits is the first most will have heard of their work together, and if they took a while to hone their collective sound, it doesn't show here. This is the work of guys who know exactly what they want from their music: namely, to explore a bit of a new-wave streak while still operating in their wheelhouse of slick, sharp, smart pop-rock.
Fischel's synths really help flesh out these 11 songs — the hook in "My Love Is Real" could have propelled an alternate-universe hit for The Human League — but a spikier, guitar-driven side still wins the day in "Flaggin a Ride," while "Baby Get Worse" splits the difference with winning results. Divvying their vocal duties roughly 50/50, Daniel and Boeckner keep A Thing Called Divine Fits sounding crisp and quotable, as in "My Love Is Real" ("My love is real / until it stops") and "Shivers" ("I've been contemplating suicide / but it really doesn't suit my style"), among others. Comparisons are fair and inevitable, but the album deserves that highest of compliments: For all its familiar components, it sounds like Divine Fits.