Friday, November 30, 2012

REVIEW: The Spook School - I Don'Know, You Don't Know, We All Don't Know The Spook School

I try to keep up with the fine young Scottish band The Spook School, and I closely follow the releases of the small but supremely tasteful Scottish label Soft Power Records.  So you can imagine how much I appreciated the potential economies to my work load when the band and the label agreed that the next EP from The Spook School would be released by Soft Power.  Thanks, guys, I'm very grateful.  (Oh sure, it is possible the parties also had subsidiary reasons, such as business reasons or mutual respect, but I can pretend it is about me if I want to.)

But, was it all worth the effort?  Well, yes -- yes it was.  I Don't Know, You Don't Know, We All Don't Know The Spook School is a delightful five-track blast of Spook music.  This band has a rare ability to combine the pace, energy and fuzz of garage with the twee side of indie.  And it is showcased well on lead track "I Don't Know".  The song begins slow and twee, but then transitions between noise pop and twee again, and then again, with male and female vocals taking turns.  "We Don't Know" is a fun tune that is garage pop from start to finish.  "That's When I Ran Away" has a slack Sonny and the Sunsets/Camper Van Beethoven vibe, but with more noise.  Ahhh ... deliciously loud guitars!  The affecting melancholy of "Something" is stunning change of pace.  It is restrained, emotional and captivating.  I pressed repeat twice.  And then we have the garage jam of the fifth track, the name of which is "Can You Ever Trust A Man Who Thinks Matt Damon's Really Cool?"  I'll say no more.

The album will be released on December 17, but we are front running the release because Soft Power is taking pre-orders for the cassettes, which are a limited run and are likely to be spoken for by savvy shoppers prior to the official release date.  At that point, your only choice would be the digital copy.  Not that having the digital only is a bad thing.  Consider the alternative: No new EP from The Spook School (I won't be tricked into typing the name of the album again).  Exactly; unthinkable.

The Spook School is Naomi Todd, Adam Todd, Anna Cory and Niall McCamley.  They are located in Edinburgh.

Bandcamp for the EP
Soft Power Records

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