November 21st, 2007 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
Where the first album revealed a band with a sharp pop sense and fantastic powers, the second album showcases a band expanding their horizons, trying out new sounds, writing unfamiliar material and succeeding at every single turn.
The album kicks off with the cartoon-eeriness of Teddy Black. It’s similar to being welcomed into a house of mirrors by a blizzard of green lasers. Made of Stone has an almost Latin beat that is ideal for triptastic dancing in the sweatiness of the Tiger Bar. (Guitarist-vocalist) Airick Woodhead and (keyboardist-vocalist) Maddy Wilde’s vocals mingle in a way that’s exciting and intriguing. What Kind of Beast Am I brings back the eeriness of the opener with a beat that’s just as strong and a melody that’s just as playful and spiked. Rocket Fuel has a rockabilly feel to it. (Bassist) Dorian Wolf’s bouncy bassline and the almost Western-like background “oooh’s” further entrench the impression. Even so, their indie-bizarro-psychedelic-dance-party pop sensibilities fuse it into something completely their own and as awesome as anything on the album.
We Saw Ghosts is my personal favorite. It’s title is appropriate. Maddy and Airick sound as though they’re summoning up some kind of dead spirit and the ceremony is beautiful and haunting but still really fun. Casual T returns to the Latin-infused beat that Made of Stone introduced us to. The strong melody weaves its way upwards, dodging spaceship sound effects and sometimes engaging in head-to-head battle with a gang of guitars. Pedestrian’s creepy-organ soon hops into a chorus that feels like Revolver-era Beatles. Astro Girls opens with what sounds like the musical equivalent of a collision in an asteroid field. The song then descends into a piano led lurch through a Scooby-Doo cartoon. It all builds up to swirling sound vacuums not unlike the bridge of Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.
Another sound experiment goes by and we arrive at the closer Man Moon. (Drummer) Daniel Woodhead finds another great beat over which they animate their musical light show. The near epic “ah ah ah ahhh”s let you know that your time in this haunted house is over and it’s (unfortunately) time to leave.
At barely over 30 minutes, the album is short but it’s every second is packed with energy, excitement, color and creativity. While it may lack the hyper-literate lyrics of a “Neon Bible” or “Apologies to Queen Mary”, like the Beatles’ masterpieces “Revolver” and “The White Album”, “Ball”’s intrigue lies not in it’s subject but it’s execution. It’s sense of adventure and fun is instantly infectious and will convert many unsuspecting persons into SB fans. Avoiding the (sort of) sophomore slump with ease, Spiral Beach have gotten their “Ball” rolling with an abundance of momentum.