SPAIN The Blue Moods Of Spain (Restless)

More sadcore?! ‘Fraid so! Spain, are, I think, an American quartet, with a take on the genre that combines the intimacy of Acetone with the happy-go-lucky ring-a-ding swinging style of the Red House Painters, with whom they share a penchant for lengthy instrumental string interludes. Josh Haden sings and writes songs that suggest he’s sorta mildly peeved, without the lapsing into Mark Eitzel’s brand of barstool blues or Mark Kozelek’s habit of blaming his mother for everything, thereby avoiding the worst excesses of self-indulgence. In places Spain are exquisite, such as the - yes, it’s that subject again! - relationship breakdown tales of "Ten Nights" or the confessional of the aptly titled "Spiritual". Not exactly a barrel of laughs, and not ideal background music for your aerobic routines, "The Blue Moods Of Spain", replete with its mock-Blue Note sleeve, like so many of its genre succeeds on its own rather restrictive terms, without making any concessions to the outsider.