A quartet based in Sydney, Spookyland have created enough of a buzz prior to the release of their debut album that they appeared at last year's Lollapolooza in Chicago. Long-term collaborator Tony Buchen followed the band across the Pacific to helm recording duties at ARC Studios in Nebraska, which has previously hosted the likes of Jenny Lewis and Bright Eyes.
Opened by a stirring, string-laden 'Abuse', the obvious observation of Spookyland are the quirky vocals of Marcus Gordon. 'Nowhereland' is a throwback to mid-tempo guitar pop of two decades ago; while 'Big Head' could be a discarded Oasis number - it's of your own volition whether or not this a positive.
Indeed, the music from the North-West of England is a strong reference point throughout, with guitar lines in 'Champions' that could easily be from Noel Gallagher and 'Can't Own You' having a Charlatans-esque sound. 'Bulimic' proves an epic, reverb-heavy conclusion that impresses, but the lingering feeling is that Spookyland haven't defined an individual sound as definable as their vocalist's. During the peak of Britpop, they may well have garnered solid exposure and a notable following, but as it stands, there's work to be done.
Spookyland on Facebook -
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