Okkervil River – The Stand-Ins

Okkervil River – The Stand-Ins

The Stand-Ins – Okkervil River

By Aidan Roberts

Cheekily titled to carry on the theme of their 2007 indie chart-killer record The Stage Names, The Stand-Ins is a show-case of apparent left-overs from those recording sessions. We’re not presented with anything out of the ordinary for Okkervil River, in fact a lot of the sounds and sentiments from that previous record are repeated in these tracks. But what still shines through loud and clear here is Will Sheff’s intimidating lyricism and the band’s raucously honest arrangements. The caustic, Dylan-esque stomp of Singer Songwriter really gets things going with its blazing horns and Sheff’s decidedly lovable snarl; “you’re keen to downplay / but you’re quick to betray with a well-turned out wave of your hand”. It can’t be downplayed just how well written Okkervil’s songs are; Sheff’s literary leanings and the band’s youthful energy drive the bus with wild enthusiasm and sophistication. Listen for the clanging, exuberant Pop Lie and the humorous and heartbreaking On Tour With Zykos; it’s all there, and shouldn’t disappoint fans or newcomers by any means. What could be seen as a risky recycling exercise proves a fantastic treat.


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