The Spook School stun with their new album Try To Be Hopeful, their follow up to 2013 debut Dress Up.
A lyrically thoughtful album that focuses on topical issues alongside the idea of being your true self, love and everything in between; opening with ‘Burn Masculinity’ the lyrics “burn, burn, burn masculinity, there’s nothing it gives to us” is a subtle nod to guitarist Nye Todd’s current transition after starting hormone treatment during the recording of the album.
Formed in 2012 the quartet from Edinburgh has evolved their pop rock sound with Try To Be Hopeful polished with infectious melodies, hard hitting lyrics and an all over mature sound packaged together in the eleven track album.
Songs such as ‘Friday Night’ and ‘August 17th’ are indie pop tracks with melodies and riffs that find their way into your subconscious until you’re dancing along; the layering within the tracks subtly shows off the growth within The Spook School and their raw musical talent.
‘Speak When Your Spoken To’ is a raucous call to arms to stand up and be heard with powerful lyrics (“I’ll throw my heart in your face, you know I like it when you tell me what to do, only speak when I’m spoken to”) and sounds mirroring early The Libertines, with scratchy vocals and fast paced drum beats and riffs.
Try To Be Hopeful is an upbeat album that will sit pretty during an indie dance party and ‘Only Lovers’ is the catchiest track here, encompassing the adventure and joys of young love and discovering yourself; ultimately what the entire album is about.
The Spook School has delivered a wonderful album looking into sexuality, love, gender issues and standing up for yourself mixed together into a cocktail of indie hits with catchy melodies and lyrics that make you open your mind.
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Words: Lorne Gillies