Wednesday, the mid-week grind can be a mountain for some, that is unless you’ve got a couple of true-toned, reverb-drenched bands to drag you through the dirt and twigs and un-apologetically push you through to the other side for the better. That’s what we received from Spookyland this week at The Newtown Social Club as the Sydney band showcased their new album Beauty Already Beautiful. A night with instrumentals oozing with a foolhardy brashness and accessible texture-ridden pop vocals that linger in your head.
Yeevs began the night in a stirring fashion with the indie-rock trio delivering a crisp and infatuating set. These shoegazers delivered songs from last years EP How To Harken Back such as ‘Cycle As The Deal Goes Down’ and ‘Rebound’ with prowess and stark emotion. Enveloping at some points when all three come together to form a cloud of noise whist the vocals cut through to give each song a tantalizing achiness. With the allure of new music hopefully just around the corner Yeevs have the capacity to impress the loyals and endear new listeners.
Upstairs, at the Newtown Social Club, quickly filled as people tussled for prime positions. Something Spookyland may have to get used to seeing at upcoming events, a welcome acclimation I’m sure. Beginning with a flurry of percussion and distorted guitars they quickly set the tone of the night ahead. Marcus Gordon, a visibly gaunt figure packs a punch that is unexpected and exciting. Gordon’s voice easily attracts the comparison to Bob Dylan. I would go as far to say it has the higher modulation of Jake Bugg, but with the accompaniment of classic rock features, they break away from any country, folk or jazz tag that Gordon’s voice might incite. Their sound is stimulating and its praise is well-earned from an Australian audience that is still very eager to see their indie-rock brand succeed locally, nationally and internationally.
Spookyland are at their best when the tempo is firing and the reverb is heavy. A sign of their craft is when these moments begin to culminate and yet they maintain a rhythm that keeps the audience engaged. Some bands unfortunately get lost in the cacophony of noise trying to create thrilling moments. For Spookyland the payoff comes in the form of an orchestrated cohesion that shines through in heavier indie-rock moments. Songs like ‘Gods Eyes’ and ‘Big Head’ receive devoted ears in the set with revellers enjoying songs that form the pillar of their sound. A standout also being ‘Champions’, a song where Gordon’s voice exudes the unique buzz and whine unrestrained. What starts as an appealing saunter of sounds by the end erupts into rumbling guitar solos and heavy drums. At this moment Spookyland prove that they are comfortable in different spectrums of sound.
Creating a level of excitement that hasn’t quite sent the audience into a dancing or swaying fit, instead earning unwavering eyes transfixed to the stage. Providing an outro of instrumentals, they exit the stage whilst the crowd remains standing waiting for a return. It doesn’t happen but Spookyland have left enough of a lasting impression as is.