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March 13th, 2007

The Fragile Army

"It's been a long journey since the Polyphonic Spree's last release, but the Dallas collective have finally settled on a battle plan for their third album. It's called The Fragile Army, a nickname the group received from Mike Mills, director of 2005 indie flick Thumbsucker, which the band scored.

"We have entered a new phase in our musical contribution," says frontman Tim DeLaughter in a press release, and indeed, the Spree have undergone quite the makeover for their new record, which hits stores sometime in June via the group's new home, TVT Records. Yes, the Polyphonic Spree are labelmates with the Ying Yang Twins. Finally!

Details and tracklist after the fold.

As previously reported, the Spree have abandoned the trademark Technicolor robes of their days on Disney's Hollywood label, opting for more militaristic black uniforms that DeLaughter says reflect "a political climate that's choking us all." And so much for their Kool-Aid-fueled paeans to the power of sunshine; he describes the "ode-to-Bush" title track as the band's new battle cry."


Tracklist.

The Fragile Army is a great title for an album, isn't it? I'll have to steal it for something. Anyhow: I dig the Polyphonic Spree, so I'm looking forward to the new album (and I'm glad the robes have gone--two albums of them were enough, and the black is cool).

The band released an EP called Wait last year, I believe, which was available through itunes. I've never really bothered with itunes, but most of it appears on the band's myspace page, including the catchy cover of Nirvana's 'Lithium', so you can check it out there. I imagine you can find the EP through the usual online venues should you have a thing against itunes, like I do.
Turn to page 123 in your work-in-progress. (If you haven’t gotten to page 123 yet, then turn to page 23. If you haven’t gotten there yet, then get busy and write page 23.) Count down four sentences and then instead of just the fifth sentence, give us the whole paragraph.

Page 23 is, well, unreadable. So, instead, here is the opening of Across the Seven Continents of the Underworld, for your amusement:

"Matthew Brady was transported at the age of twenty-two for murder.

He considered it a black piece of humour that he had been convicted for the death of one man since, from the age of sixteen, he had been a member of the Shibtri Isles army. For nearly six years, he had fought in campaigns across dry, burnt soil and beneath empty red skies while wearing the dark, maroon uniform of his native country. It was the only employment he had known. He had begun it, not from a sense of patriotism, but rather with the prospect of adventure, of the dangerous and violent nature of that adventure offered to him, and the attraction it held. He wasn't like his brother, Alex—Alexander—who had a natural gift of intelligence and interest in the work of a Mortician, and who was offered an apprenticeship at the age of thirteen, and said goodbye to the orphanage and underfunded public school system that they were both stuck in. No, for Brady, life existed in the physical, the tangible, and the pleasures that this offered, and so when the recruiters stood in their own maroon uniforms in the middle of the broken cement quadrangle of the school he attended and told him that he could have a life with money, food, and travel, he did not hesitate to sign up. That he was to be part of campaigns that resulted in the deaths of men and women who he had no personal connection did not bother him. Likewise, he was similarly unconcerned by the destruction that was caused to towns and cities and countries that he visited. Why should he have been? The question of why he was there had been made before the army was sent into battle, and he never saw a reason to question them—until, that is, he killed William Morris."