Tindersticks: The Hungry Saw

By: Dennis Cook

It starts so meditatively with Satie-like piano putting shivery bell tones and low flying melancholy in the air. When the drums arrive, up front and thick on “Yesterdays Tomorrows,” followed by simmering organ and a deep, very present voice snatched from ’60s radio, you just know you’re dealing with pros. Around since 1992, Tindersticks let their feelings hang out, messy ones and neat, but have funneled all this emotion into some of the most captivating, subtly built shells of their long career on The Hungry Saw (released September 16 on Constellation Records). They always stir an ache for a time when real, honest to god ballads of Burt Bacharach and Carole King proportion reached wide audiences but this release further builds the case they could hold their own against those benchmark artists. The layering in the arrangements incorporates horns and strings, sculpted backing vocals and all manner of traditional rock instruments, each adding their own small punctuation to each flowing sentence. Anyone who’s missed say the Leonard Cohen of New Skin For The Old Ceremony, Nick Cave’s The Boatman’s Call or Phil Spector’s ’60s productions will likely fall hard for The Hungry Saw, an unabashedly romantic, tender, real, broad spectrum listening experience in every regard.