30 Oct

Just shy of a year has passed since we last checked in with Spindrift – we know this because it’s just shy of impossible to think of Spindrift without thinking of the past. There’s a strange, sweaty, sideways energy in their utter musical and cinematic commitment to reanimating and reverb-ing the ghosts of the conflicts of the West. But the latest confirmation of this commitment – the instant classic, “Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1” – doesn’t sound anything but timeless to us.


Because while we may think of the past when we think of Spindrift, there’s not a moment when the songs of “Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1,” in either note or spirit, are constrained to the cage of nostalgia. Spindrift’s sounds seems to inhabit that place where the past folds over top of us, the very weight of which propels us toward our inevitable future. Put more simply (perhaps even coherently): “Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1” is driving music par excellence, the quintessential score to the act of moving forward while keeping on eye on the rear-view.

Download “Showdown” from “Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1” by Spindrift

We think about the past when we think of Spindrift. Indeed, we think about the hours we have passed wondering how the idea came to open this album in a way that so dramatically captures the relationship between the past and what it means to what comes next.  Less than a minute long, the album opens with “Japexico,” heralding the arrival of an album made up of tribes and caravans, of scouts and squaws, of Arizona plains and God, of Bear Flaggers and the Great Spirit … and then follows immediately with “Space Vixens Theme.” It’s not just great – it’s perfect. And not merely because we don’t know how to make a guitar sound quite so awesome (few do!).

And so the album goes, past and future intertwined (a minute and twenty-five seconds into “Theme From Confusion Range,” we hesitantly dub the band the Hawkwind of the American West), themes turning to songs turning to anthems, guitars (and everything else) sounding consistently awesome (with the penultimate eight minutes and nineteen seconds of “Theme From Drifter’s Pass” making a strong run at “Riff of the Year” honors).

Time and time again, in the future and the past, we’re struck by the utter ambition of the music Spindrift create. But it’s more than that – it’s the potent, powerful execution of those ambitions. And “Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1” is perhaps the most successful execution since that of Tom “Black Jack” Ketchum, with an equal capacity to knock your head off.

“Theme from Drifter’s Pass” Spindrift from Lavender Lee on Vimeo.

“The implications of this argument are many, but one important lesson to be drawn, I think, concerns the widespread popular ambivalence about the frontier in the late nineteenth century. For many years now, historians have explained the frontier myth … as an unswervingly triumphalist story. We live in an anxious age, and it would be foolish to assert  that the nineteenth century was not more confident than our own in many respects. But if there is one thing that William Cody’s biography teaches us, it is that the nineteenth century was characterized by doubts about frontier conquest, racial degeneracy, the industrial order, and the failure of the Western farm landscape to generate the wealth and security that the story of progress had promised. To construe frontier expansion as a moment of supreme confidence untarnished by reflection or hesitation is to ignore all the dark fears that underlay it.”

Louis S. Warren, “Buffalo Bill’s America: William Cody and the Wild West Sideshow”   




  1. Band Of The Week – | Spindrift Official Website - June 16, 2012

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