Spoon have long been one of the most reliably great rock bands to emerge from the early Aughts indie boom. Their secret weapon has always been their restraint — riffs that simmer but don’t boil, lyrics about cautious hope, air-tight production that plays up their musical economy. It’s what makes you want to hear more of them. It has led them to masterpieces like “The Way We Get By,” a piano-driven declaration of desperation, and the dusky title track of this compilation here, “Everything Hits at Once.” And, for what it’s worth, they’ve also struck gold by losing control and going all-in on a song like “The Underdog,” a jaunty pop song with a brass section that sounds like a lost nugget from Seventies AM radio.
So compiling a 48-minute “best of” comp must have been a difficult task, only because what do you leave off? The producers here omitted fan favorites and concert staples like “Jonathan Fisk,” “Metal Detektor,” “The Fitted Shirt,” and the shockingly catchy diss track they wrote for their old A&R man, “Laffitte Don’t Fail Me Now,” in favor of marginally less “best” songs like “Got Nuffin,” a rare Spoon track that could have used a stronger hook, and the snoozy “Inside Out.” It’s a good thing, though, that we live in the playlist era and can just make our own personalized Spoon comp.
The gem here is the new song, “No Bullets Spent,” which is about praying for the end of some existential anguish (“What we need now’s an accident/No one to blame and no bullets spent”). It could be about politics, it could be about a bad day frontman Britt Daniel had waiting for his number to be called at the DMV. Regardless, it’s another catchy, taut, perfectly restrained rocker that belongs in a collection like this.