Spectres - Condition - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Spectres - Condition

by Sean Hewson Rating:10 Release Date:2017-03-10

Spectres' second album, Condition, is said to be louder and more abrasive than their loud and abrasive debut Dying. What it actually is, is astonishing.

Over nine tracks, Joe Hatt, Adrian Dutt, Darren Frost and Andy Came are just brilliant at everything. I list them by name because this record works so well because they work so well. Dutt and Hatt are the guitar torturers. Their parts often clash with each other (as on opening track The Beginning Of An End) but they can also slam into all-out attack together (Rubber Plant). Like Sonic Youth, they can do harsh noise and ambient noise. Their guitars can sound like drills, power tools, elephants, anything. As well as Sonic Youth they also remind me of William Reid on the more insane parts of Honey's Dead and Keith Dobson of World Domination Enterprises.

However, the unsung heroes of the show are Darren Frost on bass and Andy Came on drums. As with Loop, it is really the rhythm section that lifts the band above their contemporaries. They are particularly good on Dissolve and Coping Mechanism, where they start out Motorik and end up slamming away at an insane waltz that then abruptly stops. And when an all-out guitar assault breaks out during Neck, the rhythm section keep it all together. Hatt and Frost's vocals are interesting throughout and stop Condition from just being a noise album, there are songs here and arrangements. Hatt and Frost often sing totally unrelated lines at the same time or break into call-and-response.

When The Telescopes' Hidden Fields came out in 2015, I felt that I had been waiting decades for someone to make that album. I have only had to wait about 18 months for the next album that made me feel the same way. Finally there is a band that has taken what Sonic Youth did with guitars and run with it. Not only that, as with Sonic Youth and Loop, they also have the kind of rhythm section that really lifts a band. Excuse my language, but Condition is an absolute motherfucker. Anyone who still believes that new sounds can be drawn out of guitars and that loving noise doesn't mean hating melody or structure should be all over this like a hungry octopus. It was a dull, Sunday night and this has cheered me right up so I'm going to give it a 10. Thanks, lads.

Overall Rating (2)

5 out of 5 stars
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