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Spectres - Dead

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 27 / 4 / 2016



Spectres - Dead
Label: Sonic Cathedral
Format: CD

intro

Hit and miss remix album for Bristol band Spectres of their debut album 'Dying', which has thhe desired effect of being stunning and irritating in equal measure


Bristol's Spectres are not scared of upsetting the establishment. 'Dead', their new album, was released on Good Friday, the most holy of days in the Christian calendar. While they asked the music community to please remix the songs on their debut album 'Dying', in Spectres' eyes the spec was to kill their songs, and so nailed to the cross they came back. While I do like the band, remixes are a thing that I could live without, so a double vinyl LP or an almost full CD of nearly eighty minutes worth of remixes was a bit too much to swallow in one go. For me, the last few tracks, released as an EP, would have done just as well, as you have to instead listen to a lot of oddness before the crème de la crème raises itself to the top of the glass. Spectres inhabit a bleak landscape, but their unofficial James Bond theme last November was a thing of beauty. Vision Fortune's 'Drag', which opens the album, however, simply sounds like it is music for the apocalypse in which there is nwohere to hide. 'Where Flies Sleep', which has been remixed by Jah Hatt, meanwhile sounds like it was recorded on an industrial wasteland. Hookworms remixes 'The Sky of All Places', which features the album's first vocals which are royally distorted, while the music itself is a screwed up David Lynch/'Eraserhead' rewrite of the Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. 'Oliver Wilde's Family' is more techno-based and simply grates, while Blood Music's 'This Purgatory', is again electro-infused and howls like an animal that needs to be put down. Giant Swan's 'Mirror' sounds like a hypnotic combination of SPK and Faust but more trance-based, while Dominic Mitchinson's 'Blood in the Cups' is scratchy, eerie and reads like a horror film. 'Sink' is offered up by master remixers Factory Floor, and it just goes on and on pointlessly. Gramrcy's 'Lump' is more bump and grind-based. The best tracks here, which would for me make that great EP, follow this. Richard Fearless of Death in Vegas' version of 'Sea of Trees' is an instrumental, under-scored but it breathes you in until big keyboards bring the track to a peak, somewhere between the early horror soundtrack work of John Carpenter and Dario Argento's soundtrack masters, Goblin. Richard Hampson of Loop takes on 'Mirror', and, remixed in one take, it sounds like a real live band playing, blended into chaos, which makes it the best track for me. 'Sea of Trees, gets a revisit from Shoegaze legend Ride's Andy Bell. It has an African undercurrent which doesn't sounding like World Music, and combines backwards vocals and a very groovy early Stone Roses beat. It ends with another take on 'This Purgatory' by Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai, which has the most clear vocals of the whole album. The bass here dominates, while it recalls the Who's 1975 film 'Tommmy' in its blend of sounds and colours. An album in which the best was definitely saved until last.



Track Listing:-
1 Drag (Vision Fortune Remix)
2 Where Flies Sleep (Jah Hatt Fears Spectres Remix)
3 The Sky of All Places (Hookworms Remix)
4 Family (Oliver Wilde Remix)
5 This Purgatory (Blood Music Remix)
6 Mirror (Giant Swan Remix)
7 Blood in the Cups (Dominic Mitchison Remix)
8 Sink (Factory Floor Remix)
9 Lump (Gramrcy Remix)
10 Sea of Trees (Richard Fearless Remix)
11 Mirror (Robert Hampson Remix)
12 Sea of Trees (Andy Bell Remix)
13 This Purgatory (Stuart Braithwaite - Mogwai Remix)


Band Links:-
https://twitter.com/wearespectres
https://www.facebook.com/spectresvancouver


Label Links:-
http://www.soniccathedral.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/soniccathedral.uk
https://twitter.com/soniccathedral
https://www.youtube.com/user/https%3A//www.youtube.com/soniccathedral



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interviews


Interview (2015)
Spectres - Interview
Anthony Strutt chats to much acclaimed noise rock band Spectres about their much acclaimed debut album 'Dying' and why they have decided to release it on Sonic Cathedral rather than through Howling Owl, their own label


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Dying (2015)
Fine but somewhat formulaic noise rock on debut album from abrasive Bristol-based group, Spectres


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