Well what a turn up for the books this is. I declared recently that The Stand Ins, while wonderful, was not as good as The Stage Names, or any prior Okkervil River release, and also added that it would be hard to top gems like ‘A Stone’, ‘Plus Ones’ and ‘A Girl In Port’. I was pretty confident that that would be my last word on the matter, but that was before this afternoon, when I became drunk on repeated listens of ‘On Tour With Zykos’ from The Stand Ins.
What a wonder of a song it is. Inspired lyrics, impassioned, tormented vocal delivery and oh, that piano. I love the measured use of horns and defined chord progressions that subtly drive home every point, and the ebb and flow of the words as they bleed from one line into the next. Will Sheff, you are a bloody genius. I can’t praise this song highly enough. Straight to my 2008 best of list.
Head to Anyone’s Guess to nab a couple more live tracks from The Stand Ins.