Disappearing further down the rabbit hole of noise and feedback, Spectres here lift as much from their recent remix album Dead as they do from any of their own releases. The swaying-at-the-edge-of-the-room dirges here will woo fans of Girl Band, Daughters, Sonic Youth et al. Out via Sonic Cathedral which is also home to Xam Duo and Remover.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 08 March 2017
Spectres have declared that they are still interested in experimenting with guitars on this their third effort and show no signs of truncating their earlier blueprint of making a right royal racket.
It’s blindingly obvious that they worship classic era Sonic Youth. This is especially evident on the churning skewered guitars of ‘Rubber Plant’ but I don’t fear Spectres in the same way that I feared Sonic Youth in the '80s. There’s something almost soothing about their dynamics, which despite the racket they produce has a studio sheen as if they are playing their guitars behind plates of glass. The streamlining of this non=threatening noise may have something to do with the vocals which are rather soft and easy on the ear - totally at odd with the racket going on behind them. The band are at their best on non-linear compositions such as ‘Dissolve’ which has a PIL style dubbiness about it - live I imagine this absolutely kills but when the noise bursts attack they are remarkably soft on the ear and this seems to be the issue I’m having - if you pile noise on top of noise on top of noise then where do you go from there?
Really the only thing to do then is to create space and with that in mind ‘Condition’ goes the opposite and is a compressed and intense record that is truly claustrophobic to the point that as it goes on you feel you are being sucked into some kind of vortex. Spectres random noise bursts never quite thrill me in the way I would hope. Perhaps their lack of interest in melody means that thew listener is relying only on guitar effects to tantalise and that’s a big ask. There are moments though when the record seems to be calling out modern day shoegaze bands for being the total wimps they are - completely fair point. This really is a noise. They play their guitars with razor blades - they also have matching beards suggesting that they are all too focussed on making a noise to even think about personal hygiene.
‘Condition’ is anything but friendly and safe - it seems to completely hate you and everything else but a little light and warmth may help in order to truly appreciate the horrid bits.
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- Condition by Spectres
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