Spiral Stairs - The Real Feel
Damn this global recession! Businesses are failing left, right and centre. Whatever happened to that lovely Preston School Of Industry? Sold off and now a branch of Price-U-Like stands in its place. Luckily its founder Scott Kannberg aka Spiral Stairs, guitarist in indie rock legends Pavement remains. He’s set out his solo stall complete a melancholy awning propped up by those strings of Nashville.
Throughout Pavement's career Kannberg brought an ever increasing amount of country twang to their song writing. It was a welcome direction that suited the band so it’s with little surprise in his first truly solo outing, this forms the backbone of majority of The Real Feel.
The ten songs (the final track is really just a crazy out-take) all exhibit his unmistakable guitar sound and voice. Solid, yet kitsch enough to avoid being conventional. Although the subject matter lacks his usual abstract slant on the world, it’s undoubtedly well written and an interesting change of direction. More personal than peculiar.
‘The Mighty Mighty Fall’ details an upcoming comeuppance rather than a love song towards Mark E Smith’s ever changing band of vagabonds - delicate steel string guitar floats over a simple rhythm, allowing it to flourish but never dominate. ‘Stole Pills’ is a stomping two-and-a-half minutes of rock, breaking up the slower country numbers and ensuring the hollering and distortion boxes are well and truly ticked.
Nothing here is trying to experiment or shatter any pre-conceptions. This is what Scott does well and for a solo effort he’s delivered in his comfort zone rather than taken an unnecessary risk. This fills the gap nicely before Pavement go back on the road in 2010.