This is a review of "Spectrals Extended Play" recorded by Spectrals. The review was written by Tom Keighley in 2010.
The Spectrals debut on Moshi Moshi this October has tried the patience of the neo-garage rock fraternity, in the UK at least, since the smattering of singles last year on Captured Tracks and Suplex Cassettes. The young Louis Jones has left the bedroom for this new EP, and it's no surprise this has given the previously scuzzy recordings a deep clean.
The new sounds are a rich and creamy derivative of the original Spectrals slop - the opener, 'Dip Your Toe In' is like a polished astral country number with all the laziness of a lolaping indie rock temperament. Single centrepiece '7th Date' is equally as laidback, and wears more of the soul influence in the sparkling piano and glockenspiel flourishes. The only clue to the Geography of Spectrals is the distinctive Yorkshire derived lilt of Louis Jones' voice.
'Spectrals Extended Play' is certainly more under the influence of 70s soulfness, with less of the rough and tumble of earlier R&B acts. But the genteel instrumentation is reved up to a rock and roll canter on occasion, particularly on the croon-teetering 'Peppermint.' Ironically, one of the best tracks might be the dinky, 'bonus jam' posted on the end of the disc, which is along the lines of Duane Eddy or Link Wray taking on a British Psych-Beat instrumental.
It might be a bit smooth around the edges for those discerning neo-garage rocksters that have come to enjoy the pissy, primal noise of the Black Lips, or The Strange Boys doing their best to tone down the Sonics. A Yorkshire come West Coast pop hybrid is never the most obvious pitch, but this Spectrals release envelopes a faithful sound and careful arrangement with a vintage heart. This is soulful pop informed garage rock, without the bleeding production of spunkier contemporaries.