Album review: SPINOUT UK – My Kind Of People

SPINOUT UK – My Kind Of People

Self release [Release date 18.01.19]

From Len Surtees subtly thumbed bass notes on opening ‘Field Of Fire’, to Gary Roberts evocative vocals throughout an album framed by a lush production with a big wall of sound, Spinout UK make an immediate impact with music that envelopes the listener and evolves like an amoeba.

They tread a thin line between contemporary stoner rock and electronica, with an 80′s stadium rock sound (think U2 meets early Simple Minds ), on several slowly evolving drones that are part of  a musical landscape that reveals itself with each track.

It’s head music without the drugs, as guitarist Will Pike delicately threads his opening guitar solo in and around Roberts’s emotive vocal to create a weighty presence.

‘My Kind Of People’ is an album that makes an impact. Roberts’ phrasing draws the listener in and when he’s delivered his lyrical meaning, he lets the music wash over us like a wave of anthemic stadium rock.

It’s music fired by the angst and energy of Springsteen and shaped by the atmospheric feel of early Simple Minds. There’s also some fleeting Edge style guitar lines through to contemporary stoner rock, and a psychedelic undertow familiar to fans of Hawkwind and Bevis Frond.

The influences vary according to the twists and turns of the material, so while ‘Watch’ is arguably the closest the band get to their own oeuvre  – albeit with an undeniable U2 feel –  there’s contrast too on tracks such as the reflective ‘London Town’, which gently throbs and is punctuated by significant guitar accents, a pulsing bass line and exuberant cymbal crashes, before the number builds up Dave Gilmour style.

‘Like Sunshine’ offers a change of pace, complete with a rhythm track that again reminds me of Simple Minds, while Roberts adds some trademark emotive phrasing.

‘Don’t Leave It Too Late’ strips things back to a relatively simple acoustic and vocal intro with a blues harp flurry, before the band locks into an eerie sounding groove.

And it’s that combination of deep grooves, spacey drones, and Roberts’ lived in vocals that gives the band it’s unique sound.

The key to the album is the slowly evolving soundscapes and the clever use of space, time and sonic detail which gives the material its power of suggestion.

There some lovely opening backwards sounding guitar tones on the imperious ‘Stay Away’, while the album as a whole is anchored by the waltz sounding ‘When Love Comes Calling’, which benefits from additional drones, intricate percussion and a sing-along hook with an uplifting guitar solo.

And yet for all the ethereal sounds, sonic punch and occasional jammed out splendour, ‘My Kind Of People’ remains a song driven album that never loses sight of it’s essential feel and unique moods as on the title track.

The hooks, repeated drones and coherent arrangements make for some very accessible music. And by the time of the tempo change on ‘Changes’ it feels as if the band is delivering a cathartic release to all that has gone before, especially on the defining lyrical line: “And it changes, changes for the better.”

Will Pike’s sumptuous slide glues together a gargantuan wall of guitar sound, but rather than building to natural climax, he lets it drop down to leave a void that the band cleverly resolves by returning to their opening hypnotic wall of sound – all throbbing bass, jangling guitars and a stuttering drum pattern.

It’s a sonic footprint  that serves Roberts’ songs well. And for all the obvious and more subliminal influences, ‘My Kind Of People’ resonates with the listener.

Gary Roberts vocals lead us into an adventurous musical journey. And just when you think the band is hitting a closing crescendo, there’s an unexpected coda as they rise one final time towards big finish wholly in keeping with a big sounding album with plenty of headroom. ****

Review by Pete Feenstra

Gig review (February 2019)

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