Throw on any Spindrift recording and it’ll easily summon a disturbing image of Quentin Tarantino lounging near a Los Angeles pool, drinking some fruity, alcoholic beverage and contemplating future exploito-projects. The band, led by Kirpatrick Thomas, began its life in Delaware prior to relocating to the West Coast. It hasn’t necessarily been an advantageous move—the ensemble still languishes in the culty realm between underground renown and total obsolescence. That’s not to insinuate Spindrift lacks a creative twitch, making the group a unique entity. There’s really nothing like it. Drawing from film’s dusty cowboy history and referencing enough psychedelia to have its adoptive hometown make sense, Spindrift traffics in short overwrought compositions. Seeing as the whole thing seems like a put-on for Thomas to sidle up to the film industry, it’s unsurprising that its work hasn’t really hit too hard. But counting most of a Brian Jonestown Massacre lineup as interim collaborators should have helped. It didn’t, and Thomas continues to reshape his group every few years to suit quicksilver interests. Over the last several years—and as many lineups—the bands hedged closer to cowboy songs. And a pending album is due to make that crystalline. Until then, Spindrift’s most recent effort, 2010’s “Classic Soundtracks, Volume 1,” found Thomas working alongside a handful of directors to midwife musical accompaniment to films. There’s a bit of flute opening the endeavor, further tying the band to our nation’s rural past, before diving into distorted country tunes. The whole thing’s intellectually stimulating, but not necessarily musically successful. Folks who have been following the band for a while, though, should wonder if Spindrift would be a bit better regarded if it’d quit spending so much time on cowboy costumes and just write music without an eye toward the big screen. Gram Rabbit and Rocket Miner open. (Dave Cantor)
March 31 at Beat Kitchen, 2100 West Belmont, (773)281-4444, 7:30pm. $10. 21+.
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