# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Spook School - Dress Up

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 14 / 10 / 2013

Spook School - Dress Up
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CD


Fabulous noise pop on debut album from Edinburgh-based band the Spook School, which takes as its main themes gender, identity and dressing up

When I first looked at the sleeve to this album, I was intrigued by its front cover of a strange lion figure holding a glass of wine whilst putting on some thick red lipstick. Now, when I was a kid growing up I knew what I was. I was a boy and I never had any issues with that really. I did know however, a few people that weren't entirely sure. And when we went to mates' parties there'd always be that someone there that cross- dressed and everyone thought it a bit risqué. But nowadays it's not such a frowned upon pastime, and when you get to a certain age no-one gives a damn anyway. Dressing up is a bit of a laugh, isn't it? ‘Dress Up’ is the debut album from Edinburgh's the Spook School, the crux of it being about gender, identity and dressing up. Apparently inspired by the Buzzcocks and Lou Reed, the Spook School are Nye Todd and Adam Todd on guitars, Anna Cory on Bass and Niall McCamley on drums who incidentally tells jokes and likes to take his clothes off. There is no lead in The Spook School as 'That's When I Ran Away' will confirm and they play noisy pop/indie songs with, in their own words, “lyrics and issues and stories edging to the absurd and silly.” The opening track, ‘Are You Who You Think You Are?’ comes racing at you with Anna’s broad Scots accent which is like a female Proclaimers. ‘I'll Be Honest’ is like a guitar ridden-version of what a Scottish Victoria Wood would have sounded like in her indie-fuelled youth. If she had had an indie fuelled youth. As the Spook School suggest, she and the rest of us were probably “too drunk to even remember.” ‘You Make It Sound So Easy’ is a Caledonian-styled St Etienne sweet-voiced ditty with some surprisingly good harmonies drifting in and out. ‘The Cameraman’ chronicles the noise-backed relationship between the band and a chap with a camera, and the way in which they use each other for their own end. ‘I Don't Know’ has a change of lead while ‘Something’ is a quieter affair upon which Cory warbles away as drum-less guitars twinkle away giving you that warm duvet feel until the pillows are quickly snatched away with the start of the next song, ‘Can You Ever Trust a Man Who Thinks Matt Damon’s Really Cool?’ It is back this to rough-and-ready noise pop but with a bit of fuzz in the middle. ‘Devil of Mine’ in contrast is another quieter affair with Cory pleading ,”Sell me a story, oh devil of mine.” The Spook Story admit that they couldn't play any instruments properly at first, but I suggest they could but not with so many different clothes on. They reckon that they just like to make noises that sound nice. But they have done it rather well, once they had coaxed Anna out of a pile of Monty Python DVDs with a bass guitar and they had agreed that Niall could take his clothes off at any given point. And, they do have a point in all this noisy punky indie drum-bashing beauty though. When you dress up, even if it is at a themed dinner party or something like that, it gives us the chance to be someone else for a while. Doesn't it?

Track Listing:-
1 Are You Who You Think You Are?
2 I'll Be Honest
3 You Make It Sound so Easy
4 The Cameraman
5 I Don't Know
6 Something
7 Can You Ever Trust a Man Who Th
8 What a Pity
9 Devil of Mine
10 That's When I Ran Away
11 You Don't Know
12 History
13 Who Ya Gonna Call? Goat Buster!

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