After being called up to the big leagues, Doug Martsch and his supporting cast put on some muscle for this one: Despite consisting of a mere eight tracks, Perfect from Now On was puffed up to a statuesque 55 minutes. It mined the same melodic fortune of golden pop-nuggets as its airtight, single-serving predecessor There's Nothing Wrong with Love, but stashed them within a dense maze of anthemic guitar wails and groove-laden jams. Larger-than-life distorted guitar melodies and compulsive progressions twist, turn, overlap, collapse, and dissolve into fragmented grains of hypnotic propulsion, lending a sense of weightlessness to the mix.
Despite being twice as dramatic as earlier work and three times as broad in scope, not a single moment of overindulgence or estrangement exists. Many songs ("Velvet Waltz", "Kicked It in the Sun", "Untrustable, Pt. 2") effortlessly shift direction several times, tossing away an album's worth of innovation in a matter of minutes. Martsch's sincere high tones consistently delivered artless lyrical gold, whether he was unraveling the philosophical narratives of the afterlife ("Randy Describes Eternity") or offering heart-rendering observations above perfectly wielded Mellotron effects and guitar rhythms that make me blush. Built to Spill were never a perfect band, but for one moment, they came close.