Spectres – Presence (Artoffact Records)

  Van Muylem    15 maart 2024

Sonically leaning into the band's pop and shoegaze influences, but leaving ample room for their post punk roots to shine through, 'Presence' is set for worldwide release on March 15th, 2024 via Toronto's Artoffact Records and marks the band's first release since 2021's 'Hindsight'.

For nearly two decades, Spectres have been at the forefront of the post punk genre resurgence and are commonly cited as kicking off the renewed interest. Emerging from the DIY Punk underground in 2005, the band's vocalist and founder Brian Gustavson wanted to blend the grassroots and independent ethic of anarcho-punk with the anomie and cold, modulated sounds of 1980’s post punk and death rock and though the band’s output has matured with time to embrace a wider range of new-wave and shoegaze influences their ethos remains rooted in anarcho punk.

Intro is what it is: no vocals, just warming up, getting the people and the gear together. I hear a warm sound, together with a nice laugh: the guitar play promises excellent things for the upcoming tracks (just as the drums).

The Old Regime has already been launched as a single and is part of my personal playlist as I adore the Britpop minded vocals, the excellent post punk guitar play and the warm melody! I hear a bit of melancholia (and that is always a great thing). I hope the single worked out well!

AM Gold starts with cool retro guitar sound, but somehow the vocals don’t blend in for 100% with the music. It’s not the strongest track on this album.

Justice and the Cross has a clear melancholic touch and reminds me slightly on the vocal parts of Morrissey. This song could have been recorded 30 years ago and still sounds fresh and pretty (sad). I adore this sad trip down memory lane. I’m tipping this as a possible single.

Real World has a warm and sweet sound, almost sticky with nice female backings. The ending is really lovely.

Waiting goes back to a more Britpop minded touch (funny I spotted this sound). It’s a warm and soft track. The tempo goes up towards the end: giving it a big bang momentum at the end.

Dominion has also already been launched as a single and is also part of my personal playlist as I adore the guitar play, the warm sound and the perfect vocals. It was indeed a wise choice to choose this one as a single! The bass guitar is also really succulent!

One Day is a nice melancholic post punk track with a nice vibe and a good sound.

Chain Reaction starts with raffling drums and a warm bass guitar sound until it all suddenly explodes and the song goes more into a punk minded setting.

Falling Down is a sweet Britpop minded track with some post punk roots. I adore the dreamy kind of extra touch here.

Start Again is the last track and they choose to go for a warm, dreamy and soft sound with a very Britpop minded touch next to the post punk slice. The fading out ending is cool.

Well they have a few cool single’s and at least one possible single. Next step is to produce a full album with possible top charting single’s. I even think they might be worth watching live (have to check it out yet). Wishing them all the best!

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