Indie rock stalwarts going back to the early '90s, Built to Spill have pleased fans for years, and their first album in three years, There Is No Enemy, occupies much the same territory as 2006's You in Reverse. Doug Martsch's absorbed and witty wordplay consistently turns lyrical convention on its head, the songs feature a parade of quirky hooks, and with its driving, accomplished backing, the band draws in a range of potential audiences, from its indie fan base to those who rock out to jam bands or don the headphones to dig into singer/songwriters. The always literate Martsch makes a virtue of steadfastness and reflection, the single "Hindsight" bemoaning those who wonder, "Is the grass just greener 'cause it's fake?" Meanwhile, the band attacks most of these songs, giving Martsch's reflective songwriting a little more bite, even on "Good Ol' Boredom" (which would descend into tedium if it were a ballad). Besides connecting the dots between the chugging side of Neil Young and the slightly warped alterna-pop of the Flaming Lips, Built to Spill continue releasing some of the most affecting, beguiling indie rock of the 2000s.
AllMusic Review by John Bush