Tag Archives: Spectres

March 16, 2017 — “Welcoming The Flowers” by Spectres

Spectres

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Welcoming The Flowers” by Spectres (2017, from the album Condition).

Spectres is a shoegaze/noise pop quartet from Bristol. It’s often said that Spectres sounds very much like a mix of Psychocandy-era JAMC and the early 90s-era Sonic Youth, with a little A Place to Bury Strangers mixed in. They should not be confused with the Vancouver post-punk five piece of the same name.

Their 2015 debut long player Dying was a massive success for them. The album was very eagerly anticipated by the UK noise/gaze community, and multiple pressings of that record in both vinyl and CD format sold out as fast as they came off the production line. The new album, which came out on March 10 via Sonic Cathedral, was also eagerly anticipated by fans. So far, the press has given the album warm reviews, but these guys care more about what the fans think than what the press thinks.

I haven’t given the entire album a thorough listen, but what I have heard is exactly what I was expecting. Unrelenting noise with occasional bursts of discernible melodies. It’s heavy, sweaty, smokey, and dark. It’s meant to be played very loudly.

There are bits on this new album that swing very close to the Sonic Youth side of their equation, but today’s song is closer to APTBS. This is that song:
“Welcoming The Flowers” by Spectres

Right out of the gate, it’s unapologetic about how loud it is. It’s jarring, and the intro sounds almost like some Japanese black metal band. It shifts gears a little at around 0:12, and there’s a lot more feedback and squelch and other “noise” added. Then when the vocals come in, there’s another tiny gear shift. It maintains its insane noise level by using a lot more drone-y fuzz.

I really like this, but because of the noise factor, it’s one of those things that’s not conducive to consecutive plays and replays. You’ll definitely need a break after listening to this album. That said, you should get the album, and you can do so by visiting these Sonic Cathedral links:
Condition on vinyl
on CD
digital download


Our favorite albums of 2015 (part 3)

Yesterday, I started the countdown of my favorite albums of 2015. I’ve said a million times that it’s been a spectacular year for new releases, so this year I expanded my list from 40 titles to 50 titles. And I also included, for the first time ever, a list of honorable mentions. So what I’m really doing is a list of 75 albums that I loved. And there were quite a few albums that I liked a lot that didn’t even make the honorable mention list.
No reissues. No tribute albums. No compilations. No cover albums. No soundtracks. No EPs. These are all proper albums, and they all had a 2015 release date.

25 honorable mentions

Details of the countdown so far are: 50 through 46 here, and 45 through 41 here.

So far, the countdown has looked like this:
50)Lower Dens — Escape From Evil
49)Girl Band — Holding Hands With Jamie
48)Creepoid — Cemetery Highrise Slum
47)Thayer Sarrano — Shaky
46)Rachel Grimes — The Clearing
45)Stolen Jars — Kept
44)Hey Anna — Run Koko
43)Speedy Ortiz — Foil Deer
42)Marriages — Salome
41)Haiku Salut — Etch and Etch Deep

Now it continues. Remember to click on the album artwork to go to where you can buy the corresponding album.

The Harrow — Silhouettes

40)The Harrow — Silhouettes
This is the debut long player by the dark dream pop/synth pop/post-punk/neogoth quartet from Brooklyn. They’re dark and cold like the root cellar in your grandmother’s house, but sexy as hell at the same time. It’s like a mix of early Cocteaus and early The Cure. I was eagerly anticipating this album all year long, and I was really pleased with it when I got my promo copy well ahead of the November 6 release date.

Casket Girls — The Piano Album

39)The Casket Girls — The Piano Album
This is the third album by the synth pop/noise/shoegaze trio built around the sisters Phaedra and Elsa Greene. You may remember that their sophomore album True Love Kills The Fairy Tale was my #1 record of 2014. They came back this year with a wildly different approach. Instead of all of the guitars an effects and the synths and the noise, this is exactly as advertised. It’s a piano album. Vocals and piano. I found myself not missing the noise, which kind of surprised me. This got its release on October 17 via Graveface Records.

Spectres — Dying

38)Spectres — Dying
This is the first album by the noise/shoegaze quartet from Bristol, England. They had set themselves up with a couple of successful EPs, and there was a lot of anticipation over the debut. At least on the other side of the Atlantic. The album sold out of its initial pressing very quickly, making it a very hot commodity, but after a short while, they did a second pressing. There’s a ton of influence from Sonic Youth, and I can hear other things like Swervedriver and The Jesus & Mary Chain. Whatever these guys do, they do it loudly.
The initial release was in February, followed by a repressing in April or May via Sonic Cathedral

Eternal Summers — Gold And Stone

37)Eternal Summers — Gold And Stone
This is the fifth album from the Roanoke based indie pop/dream-punk trio. Last year’s The Drop Beneath was my twelfth favorite album of 2014, and they were one of my favorite things from the 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival. I had very high hopes for this new album, and I like it a lot, but not as much as I was hoping.

Esmerine — Lost Voices

36)Esmerine — Lost Voices
This is the fifth album by the Montréal post-rock quintet. This is part of the Godspeed You! Black Emperor/ Constellation Records family tree. Becky Foon (cello/harmonium/piano) was a member of Silver Mt. Zion, while Bruce Cawdron (glockenspiel/marimba/vibraphone) is a former member of Godspeed. Everyone else in the band has other ties to the Montréal scene. Given the main players, this sounds exactly like you’d expect it to sound.

That’s it for now. Later today, I’ll pick up the countdown at 35.


05.08.2015 — “Where Flies Sleep” by Spectres

Spectres

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Where Flies Sleep” by Spectres (2015, from the album Dying).

Spectres is a shoegaze/noise quartet from Bristol, England. They released an EP called Family in 2011 and an EP called Hunger in 2013. They’ve just made an enormous splash with their debut album Dying, which was released earlier this year via Sonic Cathedral Records. They sold out of the vinyl pressing as soon as it was released, and the second pressing was just released.

I really don’t know anything about this band. They’re influenced by the likes of JAMC and Sonic Youth, and they’re certainly not shy about turning their amps up to eleven. This album is dark and fuzzy. There’s tons of distortion and feedback. It’s loud, and unapologetic.

I first heard about this album when I saw a friend post to Facebook about how badly she wanted Dying on vinyl. I didn’t know what she was talking about, and it took me much longer than it should have to figure it out. I finally bought a download of the album last week, and because I’ve been on a serious ambient/drone/dream pop kick, I haven’t made time for it until yesterday.

Tonight’s song isn’t my favorite one on the album. I’d say that “Blood In The Cups” is probably my favorite. It absolutely smells of Sonic Youth. It’s not available for posting, but tonight’s song is also brilliant in its own way. It’s sheer noise. Beautiful noise. Jet engines and jackhammers.

This is that song:
“Where Flies Sleep” by Spectres

This is less Sonic Youth and more A Place To Bury Strangers. A sonic assault right from the needle’s drop, punctuated by some nice melodies. But some serious and fantastic unrelenting noise.

The video for the song is a little creepy, but very cool. It features a lot of unsettling images relating to death and dying. It also features little kids doing deviant stuff that little kids don’t do: stealing a car, tending bar, (simulating) drinking, and more. And there’s a creepy disembodied doll’s head.

Here’s that video:

The first pressing of the vinyl sold out, but you can buy one of the second pressing here. The CD is sold out, but some copies are available via amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. That can get a little bit spendy on this side of the Atlantic. Unfortunately, the bandcamp FLAC download is only for vinyl buyers, but you can get digital downloads from amazon, or eMusic, or iTunes. And you should.


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