Corporate record labels are not the enemy of indie rock.
At least not for bands like Built to Spill.
Doug Martsch, frontman for the Boise-based group that comes to the Knitting Factory on Saturday, is the rare artist who can do pretty much whatever he wants.
That a so-called indie-rock band could have so much much creative control, so much power, on a major label for so many years shows the true potential of the relationship between a band, its label and its fans.
Martsch continues to play more trust games on Built to Spill’s seventh full-length album, “There Is No Enemy,” released last month on Warner Bros. Records.
As is to be expected of a quintessential BtS album, “There Is No Enemy” is a guitar-laden series of revelations set to meticulously crafted compositions that are as enigmatic as they are enormous. The 11 tracks clock in at a little over 55 minutes.
The album contains the jammed-out prog-sprawl of Built to Spill’s critically acclaimed – though commercially overlooked – 1997 major-label debut, “Perfect From Now On.”
It also balances those lengthier leaps with the masterful pop sensibilities that recall the band’s second offering for Warner Bros., “Keep It Like a Secret.”
And like “You in Reverse” before it, “There Is No Enemy” is an unevenly split epic pop that switches directions often and without warning.
The album opens with a rhythmic glitch that sets up a the startling wailing wall of tremolo and fuzzed-out riffs of “Aisle 13,” a three-minute outline of circular logic escaping the dark corners of the mind through the dark hours of the mundane.
Marstch reveals through his signature falsetto, “Everyday something strange I can’t explain