Hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, alt-punk four-piece SPILL impress big time with this debut offering, ‘Top Ten.’
With all members having played together in touring bands previously, SPILL have a well-crafted sound that you just don’t hit upon by accident. On the surface, it’s an album full of good rock songs about being pissed off but ultimately getting on with life. Dig a bit deeper, and you’ll find ten really strong tales of small town frustration, love-hate relationships with places and people and hanging out in the van, set to a well balanced mix of indie-rock, 90’s shoegaze and modern punk.
Opener ‘Can’t Keep Cool’ offers the first nod to 90’s fuzz-rock, with a laid back groove and melody that could be a jam between Weezer and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Stand out tracks ‘Keep Coming’ and ‘So Bright’ give away a near-constant reminder of fellow PA punks The Menzingers, with vocalist Brandon Gepfer’s voice sounding more and more like the latter’s Tom May with every listen. It’s not a bad thing though, and the album’s dalliances with different styles sets it apart from any further comparison.
‘All Right’ lashes out with grunge-y guitars that echo Nirvana’s ‘Drain You’ before ‘Feels Too Good’ rocks in like a homage to British indie rock types The Cribs and The Libertines. ‘Only One’ shows the guys know a thing or two about dynamics as well, more laid back with drums in and out. ‘Turn Around’ is a Brand New-esque alt-rock slow burner but fast becomes a favourite on repeat listens.
“This is the best thing we could come up with. It’s my top ten songs I could write,” says Gepfer of the record. It’s a sentence that’s equally bold and modest – like the record itself. It absolutely knows what it is and what it wants to be and should be in your record collection immediately.
‘Top Ten’ by SPILL is released on December 16th on No Sleep Records.
Words by Adam Lewis @adamlew86)