STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS

SPARKLE HARD DOMINO, OUT 18 MAY

Q (UK) - - Q Review New Albums - JAMES OLD­HAM

For­mer Pave­ment front­man’s best al­bum with The Jicks.

Stephen Malkmus has long been threat­en­ing to be­come the mu­si­cal equiv­a­lent of a Sun­day sup­ple­ment that you glance at if you’ve got the time – oc­ca­sion­ally in­ter­est­ing but hardly es­sen­tial. Sparkle Hard, his seventh LP with The Jicks, aims to shake that sit­u­a­tion up a bit. It does so in part by re­vis­it­ing the off­hand po­et­i­cism of his first band, Pave­ment (Mid­dle Amer­ica, with its slanted melod­i­cism, could be an early-’ 90s lost clas­sic), but this isn’t just a nostal­gia trip. There’s a rich­ness here – the au­tum­nal strings in Solid Silk, the Van Dyke Parks whimsy of Dif­fi­cul­ties/ Let Them Eat Vowls – that’s been ab­sent from pre­vi­ous Jicks records. It’s what makes this one worth pick­ing up. Lis­ten To: Cast Off | Mid­dle Amer­ica | Solid Silk

Stephen Malkmus: “So, how do I steer it?”

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