You know when two impossibly attractive people get knocked up, and everyone’s waiting to see whether their baby will be exponentially adorable? Divine Fits is like the indie-rock equivalent of that, a newly minted power trio whose members have impeccable pedigrees: Spoon frontman Britt Daniel, a paragon of stylized detachment; rock ’n’ roll live wire Dan Boeckner (ex–Handsome Furs and Wolf Parade); and Sam Brown, the steady heartbeat of punk crew New Bomb Turks. Boeckner assumes lead vocal and songwriting duties on about a third of the tracks on A Thing Called Divine Fits. His plaintive wolf-howl vocals hover above a wiry tangle of fuzzed-out guitars, frayed-nerve synths, and propulsive hi-hat as he haplessly searches for solutions that don’t exist: “I’ll be the operator, I’ll be the spy, I’m taking pictures until they turn out right,” he yelps on “Baby Get Worse.” Daniel’s contributions are less frantic, but just as jittery.
He struts and coos like a peacock on the Wurlitzer-laced “Like Ice Cream,” which melts into the gleaming murmur of keys on album-closer “Neopolitans.” The best track, though, is a cover: Daniel’s faithful version of “Shivers,” the sublime angst anthem by Nick Cave’s pre–Birthday Party band The Boys Next Door. Boeckner and Daniel are as highly reactive as alkali metals; they ricochet off one another like charged-up particles, and A Thing Called Divine Fits is the sound of their graceful explosion. If this is what Divine Fits looks like in its infancy, imagine what a stunner it’ll be when it’s all grown up.
Playlist picks: “What Gets You Alone,” “Shivers,” “Like Ice Cream,” “Neopolitans”