It took a couple of listens to properly unlock Veckatimest, but when I did, it got me to thinking. Some of this stuff is patent genius. Obviously the first single ‘Two Weeks‘ is one example, but as with Yellow House before it, some of the greatest moments are the ones hiding a little below the surface, popping out when you shine a light into a dusty corner in a room where the door’s been locked and the curtains have been closed for years until now.
Grizzly Bear are clearly one of the best bands working today. And there’s something of a different feeling to getting a great debut album by a new band, who are bringing a refreshing new sound or at least a new twist, than there is to getting the next album by a band in its prime. So Vampire Weekend’s album was exciting, but it’s not yet part of something potential bigger, which will be memorialised in future decades in The Essential Vampire Weekend lists and in XL Classics double album re-issues.
Grizzly Bear might not be there yet, but they’re on the cusp of it. Yellow House has matured into something of a classic already. Veckatimest is, if you haven’t heard it, a little more broad-focused but at this early stage it certainly has the makings of something great too. And then you can factor in the Friend EP, which features some of the band’s best songs (reworked Alligator and Little Brother, cover of He Hit Me), and last year’s In Ear Park by Department of Eagles, a band which features three quarters of Grizzly Bear and shares its primary songwriting force in the form of Daniel Rossen.
Who has a better streak than Rossen’s? Yellow House – In Ear Park – Veckatimest over the course of three years. Who is doing better? Or who has done better?
I considered this out loud earlier on Twitter, but managed to come up with some answers myself.
Better streaks by bands who are still together:
- Animal Collective – any three of Sung Tongs, Feels, Strawberry Jam, Merriweather Post Pavillion (my preference is the last three)
Comparable streaks by bands who are still together:
- Deerhoof – any three of Milk Man, Apple O’, The Runners Four, Friend Opportunity and Offend Maggie (I’d take the middle three)
- REM – Murmur, Reckoning, Fables of the Reconstruction
- Spencer Krug – Apologies to the Queen Mary (Wolf Parade), Shut Up I Am Dreaming (Sunset Rubdown), Random Spirit Lover (Sunset Rubdown)
Also, you have these which were suggested by Rory on Twiiter:
- Panda Bear – Strawberry Jam, Person Pitch, Merriweather Post Pavillion
- The Cure – Head On The Door, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Disintegration
- Modest Mouse – This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About, Lonesome Crowded West, The Moon and Antarctica
What do you think?
Do you think you have a three album streak that laughs at the ones I’ve posted? I didn’t include broken-up bands in my own, but Rory did, and you can if you like. Let’s see what you’ve got.