Release Date: Mar 10, 2017
Record label: Sonic Cathedral
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Articulate as Spectres may be, but the word 'compromise' doesn't enter into their vocabulary. Which is just as well. Because when it comes to pushing the boundaries of sonic resistance they're one of the most confrontational acts on the planet right now. Not just by way of their music, which isn't just an uneasy listen, but often an unsettling one too.
On their second album, Condition, the Bristol-based Spectres strip their noise rock sound back to the bare wires and torn-up insulation. Their previous album, Dying, had a layered, pummeling wall of guitars that attacked like a swarm of chain saws and songs that ground and charged like Loop at their best. This time out, the band has forsaken niceties like song structure, melody, and walls of sound in favor of elongated, almost formless pieces that sound the way a half-torn-down building looks.
Drone happy opener "The Beginning of an End" offers a steady, slow paced introduction to Spectres second long player; but as the album proceeds it becomes abundantly clear that they have much more to their game. The abrasively heavy "Rubber Plan" with its heavily discordant noise introduction sees them step up with explosively loud bursts of feedback, but it also becomes clear that a lot of these songs owe a large debt Sonic Youth 's non-pop orientated past. "Dissolve" and "Welcoming the Flowers" are others centered around utilising bursts of feedback embracing noise with the occasional drone added for effect, before slowly seguewaying into circular, rif-based sequences that aren't too far away from those embraced by noise rockers A Place To Bury Strangers .
The title of 2015's Dying was nowt but hypochondriac hyperbole because Bristol's Spectres have remained at least alive enough to produce a follow-up. If Condition does not herald a radical artistic reincarnation, it does involve a subtler devolution into a slightly more primitive form. "We became even less interested in actually playing guitar," boasts frontman Joe Hatt, a statement which initially sounds worryingly like Mumford & Sons' "banjo is dead" bombshell or that moment when Korn went dubstep.
Spectres – Condition Although it has been nearly two years since Spectres delivered their debut Dying LP, the Bristol-based foursome have been far from idle. Releasing a handful of non-album singles and the Dead remix collection, filming a series of increasingly provocative yet clever videos, touring as much as day-jobs will allow and courting controversy in plenty of situationist stunts has certainly kept the quartet away from between-long-player lethargy. Now, at last, appears the long-awaited second proper full-length set, Condition, to prove that Spectres can still deliver full-bodied works as well as shorter subversively-mapped detours.