Release Date: Apr 15, 2016
Record label: Sonic Cathedral
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Remixing an album as dark and unforgiving as Spectres' Dying is not an easy job. Released last year on Sonic Cathedral, the Bristol band’s debut laid out in no uncertain terms the manifesto that they had created for themselves. It was punishingly loud, with squalls of feedback encasing everything, the vocals often lost in the mire, with bass and drums mechanically in sync.
Bristol’s Spectres have enlisted an impressive range of remixers for this maxed-out collection of riffs on their shoegazing compositions. Such albums can be bitty, but there’s a controlled arc at work here, things starting off (dauntingly) with grinding, droning noise workouts and curving through all manner of industrial dance pieces before ending more melodiously. Leeds’ hotly tipped Hookworms, Loop’s Robert Hampson and Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite all pitch in.
Covering another artist's work is an age-old concern, either riding on coattails or bastardising a standard composition and wrestling it into a unique form. Sometimes it can be a wonderful exercise; at others it can be a cathartic re-imagining. Many covers are timid, afraid to break a mould that has been lauded by millions as a masterpieces; others are insipid, a timorous, bland cut-rate screenprint, designed to cash in but invariably fade with time and derision.
Having already been trailed with a 2-track 12” in the autumn, now we finally get to hear the full fruits of Spectres inviting forefathers, fans and fellow-travellers to decapitate and drag last year’s debut Dying album into the ghoulish afterlife that is Dead. It almost goes without saying that as remix albums go this is far from being a conventional reconversion set. There are no polished-up commercial radio makeovers or hip indie-disco deconstructions for the Bristol-based outfit’s electric guitar sculpting and mangling.