The Spinto Band - Moonwink
There are very few things in life that make me instantly happy despite what mood I’m in and what kind of day I’m having, one of my current happiness solutions being the simple pleasure of eating a wispa. Now rejoining that exclusive list, after a three year hiatus, is listening to The Spinto Band.
Their UK breakthrough album Nice And Nicely Done was one of the finest collections of pop music to be released in 2005, filled with wonderful 3 minute hook-laden songs and not one filler amongst them. But as soon as they came to my attention, they disappeared again. After hearing that they had got dropped from their record label, I just assumed that was it for them. Luckily they’re made of sturdier stuff than that and three years later have come up with Moonwink.
Lead single Summer Grof is one of the many highlights on the album and is instantly up there with Brown Boxes and Oh Mandy as one of my favourite Spinto Band tracks. Not only does its chorus contain the brilliantly brutal lyric of “I won’t lie to your face anymore/So goodbye”, it’s also as catchy as a cold in Winter.
The same can be said of both The Cat’s Pyjamas and Pumpkins And Paisley. Ignoring the bizarre titles, which are a good reflection of the unique nature of the band, they both have choruses that you will be hearing in your head long after the CD has stopped. Often this is an annoying trait of a song but this is not the case here, as you will smile whenever you remember them and won’t know exactly why you’re happy, but you will be.
For me, the album’s charm comes from the almost childlike approach to the songs. Not only are handclaps an ever-present whenever a song needs a backing percussion, three songs also have a succession of “la’s” as a main part of their verses and choruses. Often the songs sound like they were made by a group of children given too much sugar and then let loose in a recording studio. While this is an aspect of The Spinto Band that will put off some listeners, it will be lapped up by anyone who is already a fan.
However that’s not to say the album is without its faults and describing them feels almost akin to telling a child that Santa doesn’t exist (sorry to any youngsters out there reading, but top marks for your choice of website) because of how nice the band seem.
One such fault is that due to the hyperactive nature of the songs, making out the lyrics can be hard at times as they are sung so fast that they tend to blend into one noise. This is a particular shame as there are strong lyrics when the vocals are clear, such as on Vivian, Don’t – “I made a note of our conversation to the very last word/So I could quote you on every empty promise that you offered.”
A wider fault with the album is that despite the three year absence, you couldn’t really say that the band have moved on. A lot of the tracks could be interchangeable with tracks from Nice And Nicely Done and, while they may not exactly be bad tracks as such, you just wish that the band pushed themselves to try something different. I do admire the band for not giving into the conventions of trying a different direction each album, but you have to feel that a third album in the same vein would be pushing even their most loyal fans too far.
Overall if you’re looking for an alternative to the heavy-handed ‘epic’ albums being released by bands like Coldplay and Kings Of Leon, then you can’t go far wrong with The Spinto Band. They have no qualms creating an album full of short, catchy pop songs that will have you bouncing along even if you don’t really feel like it.