by Bill Pearis
Spectrals at SXSW (more)
Scotland's Spectrals -- aka 21-year old Louis Jones -- just wrapped up a tour with Cults and are in town for two shows this week: Friday (5/4) at Glasslands with Twerps and Saturday's (5/5) sold-out show at Mercury Lounge with Slumberland labelmates Frankie Rose and the newly-respelled DIIV.
Indie rock readings of Phil Spector pop are almost passé at this point, but Jones makes it work due in no small part to his English wit, articulation, and gray mood. "Get a Grip" opens with a small, fun riff, prefacing a crooned rhyme: "I need to get a grip, I always seem to let my smile slip." His delivery is slow and monotone, as he stretches each fifth syllable or so, but it's a toe-tapper, underpinned by cool bits of bongo and guitar. The bongo drum returns later on "You Don't Have to Tell Me", and whether or not the 50s jazz-club feel comes with a wink, its faux-sophistication still comes over as charming. "Luck Is There to Be Pushed" has a similar effect, but this time with the runs of jazz piano that fleck its dramatically soft guitar strums and subtle, gliding synths.In addition to streaming the album, you can watch the video for Spectrals single "Get a Grip" at the bottom of this post.
Friday's show at Glasslands is with Australia's Twerps, who have been visiting America since SXSW and have added this one last show. If you haven't heard their 2011 self-titled album (one of my favorites of last year) you can stream a few tracks at the bottom of this post. They're good live too. Also also playing are Family Portrait. This is an early show as Glasslands hosts Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (sold out) later Friday night.