Wednesday, March 21, 2012

REVIEW: Spectrals - Bad Penny

What does a music writer do when he discovers that he has overlooked a release by four plus months? One option is to pretend that the release didn't have sufficient interest or wasn't worthy. But that brings the integrity of one's taste to the fore of the discussion. Another option is to hope no one notices. Frankly, given the large number and excellent taste of our readers, that isn't a realistic option. The best option, of course, is to cover the album as if it was just released. Yes, problem solved. And when it is a good album, it is the right answer for everyone. Well, having gotten that bit of business off my chest, here is....

Bad Penny by Spectrals. Spectrals is, in fact, 21 year old Louis Jones, who hails from a very small town in northern England. His work is influenced by the mix of old rock and soul records he heard growing up, resulting in elements of 60s pop and rock, doo wop, Northern Soul, garage and a bit of surf. Try the first track --

Spectrals - Get A Grip from Slumberland Records on Vimeo.

What I like about Spectrals is that, despite its clear influences, it seems completely unaffected. It seems to me that Louis isn't trying to repackage old sounds to make money off them. He's just playing his music the way he loves music. He plays all of the instruments on the album except for the drums, which are played by his brother Will.

"You Don't Have to Tell Me" --

Louis is touring in the US this spring, so if you like his music check out the tour schedule on his website, which is linked below. Bad Penny is his first LP, and it is released on Slumberland Records. He previously released some shorter efforts on Slumberland and Captured Tracks.

"Big Baby" is one of my favorites --

Twitter ( @_SPECTRALS )
Artist's page at Slumberland Records

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