Artist: Built to Spill
Title: “There’s Nothing Wrong With Love”
A number of 1990s indie rock albums sound like they were recorded with hand-me-down equipment in the same living room, from Pavement to Dinosaur Jr. to Built to Spill’s second album, “There’s Nothing Wrong With Love.”
The influence of the lattermost is easy to see on subsequent northwestern rock acts such as Modest Mouse or Death Cab for Cutie.
But “Nothing Wrong” is noteworthy for its own college rock sound as much as its influences. “Distopian Dream Girl” and “Car” are indie rock classics, the latter widely regarded as one of those ’90s underground touchstones. “I wanna see movies of my dreams,” sings Doug Martsch on “Cars,” a cello giving the song a mournful edge.
While the fuzzy elegance of “Stab” is the true final song, the last track is “Preview,” a brilliantly funny 90-second teaser of songs that don’t actually appear on the following Built to Spill album.
What makes “Nothing Wrong” as influential as it was influenced is Martsch and company’s ability to absorb those ideas and make them their own. It’s low-fi and it’s made in that same imaginary living room, but this Boise, Idaho, group has its own worthwhile agenda.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.