Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Spies – Moosehead

Joshua C. pitches this post-punk outfit from Dublin, reveals our apparent divide on the genre…

Iain Mew: After Delta Spirit and The Boxer Rebellion, this is the third year in a row that Readers’ Week has alerted me to a song I love that sounds like this, so big thanks to Joshua and Derek. “Sounds like this” meaning repression indie: rhythms taut, vocals just about committing to emotion but never to directness (“let’s toast to not saying things we’re not meant to say” indeed) and guitars that say everything. The dam-burst roars and rushes of the end of “Moosehead” are such a thrill.

Scott Mildenhall: Not entirely dissimilar to Editors’ characteristically hamfisted attempt at aping U2 last year (“DESIRE. DESIRE.”), only with a vocalist closer to Two Door Cinema Club. Michael Broderick has a clarity befitting poetry, a florid finesse that makes all his metaphors and morsels land irrespective of meaning — “mercy sounds” become the most portentous two words in the world as he enunciates them with force enough to set off sirens, drawing a dystopian end that if anything could have done with going bigger.

Patrick St. Michel: This is what I picture when people talk about “boring” indie rock, though maybe with a vocalist who doesn’t sound like he was pulled from a Two Door Cinema Club cover band.

Alfred Soto: If you listen through the echo, you can hear Morrissey singing about bridesmaids in the basement and Casanova in the shower. “You are overreaching everything,” he says, of course.

Anthony Easton: Whining Morrissey soundalikes want us to think their pain is meaningful. I remain unconvinced.

Mark Sinker: Knowingly strolling into a trench from which nothing good emerges, they fail to trade even their pink-faced youthfulness for the benefit of the doubt.

Madeleine Lee: The opening’s immediate get-down rhythm is deceptive. It initially sounds like the song’s only good idea pushed to the foreground, trying to use danceability to compensate for having nothing else but air. Instead, it develops into an anchoring weight, sometimes pulsating, sometimes twitchy, for the sublime floating reverb and drawn-out syllables that soar overhead, allowing the song to reach for the sky without ever drifting off into its own haze.

Will Adams: A garage-tight opening quickly gives way to sun flare guitars and canyon wide vocals. It’s the music I always associate with extended driving through mountains, that breathtaking moment of realizing how small you are amidst the giant rocks.

Brad Shoup: The singing Spy’s hanging on for dear life to those guitar contrails; the song’s barreling him through like a waterslide. I don’t really care what he’s singing, cos there’s so many great overtones to sample.

Joshua Copperman: I’ll start by saying that the b-side to this single, “Yearner,” is one of my favorites this year: lyrically intimate yet musically confident. The latter terms definitely apply to “Moosehead” as well; a line like “My mind is a six-story building” is not quite as stirring as its likely influence “My head is a buzzing three-star hotel,” or even “Yearner”‘s “Gotta make it through July/gotta make it through the year”, but overall, this is a rivetingly anxious thrill ride of a song. I do wish that parts of the studio recording matched the tightness of the the live version (for example: those slightly off-pitch backing vocals in the second verse, or the way the song nearly runs out of steam too early in the first chorus), but when a band this relatively young sounds this good, that’s really just nitpicking.

Reader average: [8] (2 votes)

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4 Responses to “Spies – Moosehead”

  1. Some of the writing here is incredible. Thanks for covering!
    (Though I must mention that without the four blurbs running from Patrick St. Michel to Mark Sinker this would be at around a 7.83)

  2. Ha, that’s almost half of the blurbs though! I didn’t expect this to be so polarising.

  3. More reasonably, if you ignore everyone’s review except mine, this gets 2 :D

  4. ^touché. I just thought it was funny all the negative ones were in a row.