Modern Vampires of the City has gotten plenty of great reviews, but since it came out around Cannes, I didn't really have much of an opportunity to listen to it. Happily, my daily trips to and from the Los Angeles Film Festival gave me a chance to really absorb the record. I'm perhaps not quite as high on it as its most ardent supporters, but it's darn strong.
The song I keep going back to is "Hannah Hunt," which in the old days would have been the end of side one. It's sorta perfect in that slot: I always think of that spot as where a band puts a song that's maybe not necessarily a grabber but, rather, one that takes a little bit of concentration. (Then, when you flip over to side two, you get nailed with a surefire, instant smash.)
"Hannah Hunt" is more of a short story, one that starts with a weird observation about plants' ability to move and then segues into snapshots of a cross-country road trip between a young couple that seem to be having unexpressed problems. Nothing is quite spelled out, but it's all there. I imagine a lot of 15-year-old aspiring film students are already imagining whole screenplays inspired by this four-minute track.
Plus, I love how the drums kick in near the end. Gets me every time.