News / / 23.05.13


SOB STORY (Wichita)



The second album from Yorkshire’s Spectrals is a continuation of his debut, featuring a range of styles and vintage sounds. However this expansive range, covering everything from garage rock, alt-country and gospel, is ultimately his downfall. Without ever mastering a specific style, the record is guilty of plodding along, never feeling like an album in control of its own direction. Spectrals is at his best when adopting his downbeat country croon complete with reverb-ridden slide guitars and honky-tonk rhythms. Reminiscent of contemporary country aficionado Dylan LeBlanc, it’s hard to believe the singer-songwriter hails from the moors of Yorkshire and not the lonesome Louisiana swamps. The melancholy in his voice on Friend Zone and the title track is impossible to ignore. Other moments recall the sunny soundscapes of Real Estate and Local Natives without ever reaching their accomplished heights, while the experimental tones of album closer In A Bad Way hint at what could have been if Spectrals committed to this particular path. But this is where the plaudits end. It’s not that Sob Story is a poor album, just a deeply forgettable one. It plays through its 40-minute run time with little fanfare, no hooks or stand-out moments to elevate the record from mediocrity to must-listen status.


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Words: Benjamin Salt