Spector – Moth Boys Review

London’s finest Indie and Hipster grandees in Spector have returned with their second full length studio album in a climate that is perhaps a little less welcoming to them as it was when they released their debut. People have began to cotton on to the fact the sounds that they and others were producing three to four years ago were well worn so there is a greater on scrutiny for bands such as Spector to move beyond their hipster pleasing Indie aesthetic. They need to produce something of worth and of meaning and with the involvement of Dev Hynes in the production, they might have taken a small step to doing so.

‘Bad Boyfriend’ is a track featuring rather predictable and drab lyrics and delivered in way that only stresses the lack of lyrical quality, particularly in the chorus where you get the impression they just gave up. Musically there are the same typical indie aspects as you’d expect with the grinding guitars etc. There is a greater range of instrumental tones though and this is enhanced by the production as the elements of the track are stripped back just before the chorus before piling in again. There is a sense of scale and depth here too even if such things are lacking everywhere else. ‘All the Sad Young Men’ opens with an aspect of Industrial Electronica and this works well against the drawn out riffs that echo beyond the obtuse chords. One a drum machine is included and a more chiming synth is included it makes for a cinematic and stylish piece of dark-pop. The lyrics here are a little better here and for a recent comparison look to Brandon Flowers who delivers his type of power pop with a little more theatre and extravagance, but nevertheless this has to be one of Spector’s best tracks to date. ‘Decade of Decay’ has a deep synth bass beat for the hook with an isolated riff coming in mainly on the chorus with a proper bass line on top of it. Fred’s vocals are a little shaky on the verses but are pretty spot on when he get’s to the chorus and the more energetic and ‘shouty’ vocal is something he pulls off much better. It has a very mid 80’s pop feel about it but I think they’ve made it work just about due to the dark atmosphere of the production which adds a little more character to a peculiar song progression.

‘Stay High’ offers up some more charged power pop with the drawn out strikes of the guitar and the breathy backing vocals, but it seems a little off and a little forced which leads to a rather generic delivery which is likely down to a typical musical delivery of the style. ‘Kyoto Garden’ works in it’s minimalism and this allows for a greater impact to be had from the variety of synths and electronic sounds in the track and heighten it’s atmospheric quality with all the space available to it. ‘West End’ is a track that sees them falter again with poor lyrics and delivery that is oddly matched with the rapid instrumentation at one point and working off them well at another. Tracks such as ‘Believe’ continues the theme of poor lyrical quality and whilst the track has a promising start, Fred goes on to overextend his vocal to the point where he is out of tune and that was certainly not intentional. The album is generally an improvement and is quite honestly better than I ever expected. There is certainly enough here to suggest they hold promise on future records particularly with the arrangement and production of the tracks which is music improved from the first album. The lyrics and at times the structure and progression of the tracks is still a weak point however and at some points it is glaringly obvious.

Spector – Moth Boys = 6/10

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

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