In 2005, Born in the Flood created giant expectations with its outstanding six-song EP, The Fear That We May Not Be, and one jaw-dropping performance after another. But the act more than measures up on its followup, If This Thing Should Spill (slated for release this Friday, February 9, at the Gothic Theatre). Weaving U2's anthemic tendencies together with Radiohead's dour isolation and strands of the Walkmen's buoyancy, Spill casts a massive shadow that almost makes Flood's past work seem insignificant. Nathaniel Rateliff sings with a fiery conviction that's positively arresting, whether he's bending his unblemished falsetto around sullen keys on standout tracks such as "In Debt to the Heart" or forcefully pushing the words out on songs such as "Anthem" or "The End of Me." His range is met by an even more assured band that takes its time to get where it's going, heightening each crescendo and lending a greater overall intensity to each song. Spill is simply brilliant.
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