Sorry, love that tune. Anyway, Spector return with their second album, Moth Boys, which is an ambiguous title to say the least and baffling to someone not in the know like myself. What the fuck is a moth boy and where can I find one? Answers on a postcard please.

Opening track, ‘All The Sad Young Men’, despite sounding like a cut straight from Editors’ In This Light And On This Evening, starts the album off well. Fred Macpherson’s voice is ever charming and soaked in a passion certain to resonate with all those young British romantics out there. It’s a fantastic tone-setter performed with great vim and vigour that gets the heart going without the need for narcotics, which is always a nice thing.

‘Stay High’ isn’t as rich in quality as its predecessor. The chorus, however, I find to be a glorious little capsule of sunshine to revel in. Simple yet effective, it raises its optimistic head from the throws of yet another cheese-laden love letter and kindly disembowels the listener of any worries and cares by basically saying, “Hey, it’s okay. Keep doing what you’re doing folks. Life can be good”. A sentiment which often sits well with the young go-getters of this earth, which for me seems to be a huge chunk of Spector’s fan base. The backing vocals in particular, “ooing and arring” away, embody a joyous and happy attitude, which again can be felt by the listener without having to delve too deep into song matter or hidden meanings.

The following two tracks, ‘Believe’ and ‘Don’t Make Me Try’, follow in the same footsteps. Romantic and endearing yet subtly unsettling and dark, it’s a great blend to bestow upon the listener. It lets them discover themes which perhaps weren’t obvious on first listen, contrasting ideas of mood and emotion hide within the fantastic song structures and musicianship so well. The 80s inspired drum sound pounds incessantly behind a curtain of great synth work, and basslines which shadow the colourful chaos with great success are most welcome. I like how Spector’s music is positive yet at the same time haunting and to some degree ugly, bittersweet you might say.

‘Cocktail Party/Heads Interlude’ is textbook 80s alt-pop revivalism at its finest. The early onset of bass is funky, not entirely clean and transcends coolness; just a shame you only hear the best section once in the song. Harmonies are also in good supply, backed up once again by great sounding synths and a vocal performance to be enjoyed and engaged with.

Unfortunately ‘Bad Boyfriend’ is a little mediocre and feels exactly what a single should sound like. The accessibility seems to have been deliberately turned up, leaving less wiggle room for the quirkiness that makes Spector what they are. At times in their music the words are ambiguous, but they often unravel themselves into some kind of meaning. Here, however, they are almost non-descript and never really decode into a single fibre of understanding or relatability which I can find interesting. Don’t get me wrong, the production and sound are fine, but it’s simply not as exciting or enjoyable as other tracks on this record: it’s just a little boring.

Moth Boys does pick up again however. It’s business as usual in terms of style and setting, but I love that shit so it’s all good. ‘Decade Of Decay’ and ‘Kyoto Garden’ are lovely little numbers which are definite standouts on the album. Just go and listen to them god dammit.

My favourite song on the album, ‘West End’, is so simple because of its interesting lyrical content. The chorus is so catchy it hurts: “Living in the west end, trying to make it all worthwhile / I could be your best friend, you could be my new lifestyle.” I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. It comes across a little cringeworthy, but the odd cheesiness suits Spector’s music down to the ground.

I don’t really need to talk in detail about the closing couple of tracks on the album, ‘Using’ and ‘Lately It’s You’. They are both gloriously dark tunes filled with sadness, tragedy and moments of uniqueness, which make this band stand out from many others of the same agenda. They’re up there with acts like Everything Everything and White Lies for making music which is obviously inspired by a certain era of music, but manages to breathe new life into it without sounding dated or like blatant ripoffs.

Yeah, it wasn’t perfect, a few of the tunes didn’t really seal the deal as others did here, but as long as they continue to produce solid albums like Moth Boys in the future, I can only see them going onwards and upwards. The future’s bright for these flamboyant bastards.

Release Date 21/08/2015 (Fiction)

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Liverpool born music writer with passion for punk and Everton FC