A Series Of Sneaks is probably my favourite Spoon album, and considering how much I love Gimme Fiction, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and Kill The Moonlight, that's pretty high praise.
On their debut album, Telephono, Spoon basically sounded like a cross between Wire and Pixies, with an adenoidal Texan singing. It was alright, but the Soft Effects EP a year later started throwing in what makes Spoon genius; killer riffs and rhythms, and hook after hook after hook, meaning it didn't sound so much like Wire or Pixies, but rather it sounded like Spoon.
Spoon aren't your common-or-garden indie band, you see; they're more like The Neptunes or Can in that it's all about minimalism, grooves, unexpected turns, and changing-but-never-changing riffs, except instead of hip-hop or krautrock they play indie garage rock. Simple.
A Series Of Sneaks is a series of short, sharp songs played on guitar, bass, and drums, and then embellished with radio noise, weird keyboard textures, and a host of other effects, including Britt Daniel's compelling whoops of "c'mon" and "oh yeah" and so on, which may seem cheesy when written down but when yelped by Daniel somehow become the very platonic essence of why rock n roll is fun.
Every track has multiple sonic and structural delights, from the weird filigree around the edges of Utilitarian, the two-kit drum fills of Reservations, the razor stop-start riffs of Car Radio, the weird electric drones of Metal Detektor, and the handclaps of No You're Not. Advance Cassette is the closest thing to a ballad here, only it's a; not a ballad at all, and b; about losing an advance cassette of your favourite band. Somehow, it's more melancholy than most bands' heartfelt paeans to lost lovers.
This version appends 3 b-sides to the originally 14-track album, but Revenge, Shake It Off, and I Could Be Underground are all of excellent quality and fit in stylistically, so you'd never think they shouldn't be there.