Opening with a shudder of white noise and the confidence of the undefeated, Spectres start as they mean to go on. The album’s opening track, ‘Blood In The Cups’ is an uncompromising noise epic. Whispered cries drift over the swaying rhythm before a swift jolt gives this haunting introduction a sense of urgency and fear. It’s a feeling that doesn’t go away. From here on out, Spectres are a band impossible to pin down.
Veering from post-rock infused soundscapes to twisted chunks of noise-pop and back again without a single, fleeting glance over their shoulder, the four-piece from Bristol know exactly what they want.
The drumbeat at the heart of ‘Mirror’ is the sound of a pursuit through shadowy tunnels while halfway through ‘Sink’ the skip and howl falls away and is replaced by a dark chant. “You don’t see what these eyes see,” Spectres cast before an unhinged instrumental breakdown, breaks down and a final vocal refrain promises a return. This is uneasy listening.
Spectres create an atmosphere on ‘Dying’ very quickly. It’s one of abrasion and tension and somehow this foggy ambience is maintained throughout. The flit of feedback that swells into a moment of calm on ‘Sea Of Trees’ is entirely natural and across the ten tracks that make up this debut, there’s an unforgiving honesty.
Despite the luxurious, audible excess, ‘Dying’ is a masterclass of refrain. At any moment Spectres could jump out and shock, but there’s an enduring pleasure to a band comfortable and brave enough to tease for the duration. As with all ghost stories, the pleasure is in the masterful use of anticipation. Sat before a roaring fire, spinning their yarn, Spectres have you hooked for the duration. Catch them if you can.