Let it be said firstly that I LOVE Built to Spill. Doug Martsch, for me, is one of those quirky musicians that I just connect with. The sonic clutter that he has found on their later albums is for me a wall of sound that sucks me in like an addiction.
Somewhere between Grunge and the Indie Rock of later Built to Spill lies this album. The album is all over the map with tempo changes galore as one would expect from Built to Spill. The ideas on this album, however, aren't fleshed out at the same level of later BTS. Obviously, this is the work of a younger band learning to bounce ideas off one another, and at times it works. At others, however, it's just plain awkward. The acoustic addition at the end of Shameful Dead is one of these moments.
Still, for a BTS fan it's a fun listen to hear how this band developed into what they've become. If it's your first BTS album that you're looking for, however, then turn back to the more mainstream catalog and do yourself a favor by picking up Keep It Like A Secret. It's their most instantly catchy, and if you don't like it, you'll never find yourself tapping your toe to this one.