I've not been listening to number four all that much since it arrived. It's potent, novelty stuff, but ultimately the misstep of the series. Not only does Bradford Cox celebrity presence (though he gives a fine interpretation) kill the flow -- Jay doing an inferior songwriter's dopey psych just doesn't fit him yet.
Number five then, is the redeemer. As a whole it the finest since the first, and the a-side "Trapped Here" is his first watershed moment as a solo artist. In a recent interview (found on the Matablog) he claims it took him ten years to conquer punk, and it will only take him a few months to conquer indie rock. In contrast, an inside source reports Jay's been releasing lesser material as the singles get smaller. "Trapped Here" begs to differ, as it's the most realized song Mr. Lindsey has written. If he conquers indie rock he can potentially do it in three minutes. The song is catchy and sharp as all the recent Reatard hits (has surpassed former favorite "An Ugly Death") but wrapped and creased in a disorienting haze of cave-pop, reverb and endless bliss, shambollic on every beat. The blistering end comes like a Beijing grand finale of distorted fireworks, building up a metropolis in a few short measures (there's a new Mogwai album coming out?).
That's not even touching the b-side, in which Jay returns to stripped punk. "Hiding Hole" a bit more 50's herky-jerky bop and "DOA" self-explanatory swift-boat of snot, cleaned up remeniscience of the first band to bear his name. Let's say now that Number Six just might explode in one's hands. In that same interview, the band says more than once, conquering metal is next.