# 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 - Try to Be Hopeful

  by Erick Mertz

published: 8 / 10 / 2015

Spook School - Try to Be Hopeful
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CD


Over-reverential and flawed second album from Edinburgh-based pop punk group, the Spook School

Recently, I watched the film 'Everest', a harrowing tale of man’s struggle to surmount nature’s most impressive summit. For me, a flatlander by nature, averse to the thin air found at elevation even cresting the top of an extension ladder, the film was large part dissection of the modern art of mountain climbing. Man versus nature, hogwash. I was watching how man has technologically reduced the chances of getting lost or dying at 29,000 feet when all those sherpas that went before had was their senses. Those guys, like mountain goats, knew how to find a good foothold, and a sense of what came next. I never quite found the right foothold in the Spook School’s 'Try to Be Hopeful' to appreciate the collection of eleven homage tracks to the Buzzcocks and assorted bedroom punk acts. There is a bright, queer sense of triumph all over the record, with a few of these tracks seem to be planting a flag at the top of something here but it isn’t the mountain. In pop and punk, the true Mount Everest is a sense of credibility. Why does my angst and sexual frustration count as an anthem? Forty years have passed and that question doesn’t have a defined answer, only anecdotal evidence of why something sticks and another drifts on the breeze like a lost Tibetan prayer flag. The sherpas of these genres, the Ramones, the aforementioned Buzzcocks and others seemed to place their booted foot on the ledge and staggered out, face against the stiff and uncertain wind, only their fuck all sensibility as a guide. With the Spook School, I feel as though there are ample moments along the route that work, 'Everyone Needs to Be in Love' in particular and the moody album closer and title track but I’m still wondering how with all the reference this still feels thin, rather than thin air.

Track Listing:-
1 Burn Masculinity
2 Richard and Judy
3 Friday Night
4 Speak When You're Spoken To
5 August 17th
6 Everybody Needs to Be in Love
7 Vicious Machine
8 I Want to Kiss You
9 Books and Hooks and Moveme
10 Binary
11 Try to Be Hopeful

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