AW MAN! DON’TCHA just love a good cult? Having 20 people in your band is verging on a cult, isn’t it? It’s certainly a good way to get a ton of people down to your very first gig, even if most of them are on the stage.
If you weren’t already aware of The Polyphonic Spree, listening to Yes, It’s True would give you no idea whatsoever of how pregnant the band actually is. Except maybe for ‘Heart Talk’ with its croaking dual baritone saxophones spewing streamers of prime-time goodness like Roy Wood and Wizzard on Top Of The Pops in 1973. Other than that the album sounds like yet another band that had a great idea once but found it being trampled on by good old sensible commerce and business decisions designed to protect and strengthen the bottom line.
They should’ve milked that cult idea to the max in the ‘00s. Imagine it! They could’ve killed it. It could’ve been 1966 all over again. Cult leader Tim DeLaughter could’ve made some outrageous statement like “The Polyphonic Spree are bigger than political correctness” or something, that the press could’ve then taken completely out of context and splattered across all news homepages – TIM SAID PS ARE BIGGER THAN PC! Then the whole western population could’ve gotten up in arms over this blasphemer amongst us, crying “What manner of sorcery is this?!”. Tim could’ve gone on Larry King Live and done what he could to quell the rising masses before the band’s next scheduled gig in San Francisco where crowds of angry demonstrators were already preparing lines of bonfires on the Haight in order for the increasing hordes of previously liberal Polyphonic Spree fans to congregate en masse to stamp on, desecrate and burn thousands of the band’s mp3s they’d already illegally downloaded anyway on KaZaa.
The band could’ve then given up concertising altogether and retired to Iowa to live and play in their recording bus, sporadically distributing internet albums of cult belief-reinforcing dogma on the hundreds of thousands of ‘Spreers’ that still hung on their every word, ever-hungry for the next audio testament always more PC-belittling than the last, until Tim’s musical ambitions outgrew the band at which point he could’ve left the bus and struck out on his own while the band continued without him temporarily, finally giving up the ghost out of fear of being engulfed by the threat of Sufjan Stevens’ Iowa album that never ended up happening.
But no, it’s not true. They didn’t. They stuck it out and gave us Yes, It’s True instead. You can’t have everything. Man, we could’ve been on Ebay bidding on the most expensive choir robes ever by now – even fooling ourselves we could afford the one worn by Tim DeLaughter: The most prominent cult leader of the last 50 years behind Charles Manson and David Miscavige.
It’s my understanding that the band go mufty a lot now. But the robes still exist, draped over chairs next to riders in dressing rooms the world over, waiting silently for their moments of glory in Polyphonic Spree encores. PETER KEARNS
Sound = 3/5
Music = 2.5/5
More Peter Kearns at: www.thefreeformfilter.com/