Living in London and enjoying a lengthy career in the NHS, it is fair to say that I am mostly fucking miserable. There are a few perks, obviously – the long hours, fluorescent lighting, MRSA – but there are only so many complimentary painkillers you can take before the vomiting gets more annoying than the headaches. So, for the past few months, Wakefield’s The Spills have been my go-to painkiller.
Having had loser-rockers Runaround Kids ram their name down my Twitter throat for months, I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about when they supported Fever Dream in that Dalston last year. Trev, Grant and myself all stood, mouths agape, as they tore through their opening song and new single Atomic Arabian Facebuster. Life would never be the same again. Until Monday. Then it was just as rubbish again. But at least I had a new love to get me through the commute. 2011′s Occam’s Razor has been my feeling-blue album ever since.
Joy then, when this EP should turn up in my inbox.
Spooky Roller Disco is mega. I shit you not. All those other times I’ve written nice things about stuff on here, I was winging it, it was all rubbish, I just had to say those nice things to get published. Honestly, you’ve no idea. But this is it. The real deal.
We begin with a delightfully sloppy riff that fumbles with its keys for a while, before finally finding the yale, and OPENING THE DOOR TO ROCK. Instantly, it puts a grin on your miserable British face. Big Superchunk guitars fight amongst each other, and sweet pop melodies touch you up and seduce you with the coarsest, whiniest voice you’ve heard since Conor Oberst faked it so perfectly. Even with the words about wanting to scratch the features from your own face out of lonely desperation, you’re like, “Yeah, I know, right!?” and the fuzzlove guitars carry you off to your happy place. Frakkin’ A finishes with the messiest shredding West Yorkshire has ever seen. And it’s glorious.
Instantly, we’re treated to a beautiful, almost classic-feeling chord progression in Gretna Green. After the mess and noise of Frakkin’ A, it feels almost euphoric to leap into crisp and shimmering pop like this. It’s a lovely touch. The distorted fuzz soon returns though and big drums with occasional marching beat flourishes lift the whole thing skywards, as singer number two screams “..so take me back to Gretna Green!” until his lungs explode. Like I said, mega.
At the risk of sounding like a sycophantic music writer, this next song is pretty good too. Chock full of Archers of Loaf, Silkworm, Polvo, fuck it, just a lovely northern take on anything Merge Records were releasing around 1994, and it’s great. It speeds up, drones and screeches until it can’t keep up with itself and just passes out with sinus pressure.
Bowing out with Long Weekend, they pull a similar trick again as with Gretna Green, and follow the white noise of Going Back to Missoula, Montana with pure Pavement-pop bliss. It’s at this point I totally run out of adjectives. How many times can you use ‘mega’ in one review? I don’t know, it’s just ace, this song. Well good, I love it. It’s not easy this writing lark, you know. Especially when you are this drunk.
A lovely little EP. I would say that it’s all over much too quickly, but I think that’s part of the charm. Big, grinning, duelling guitars, effortless melodies and mega, yes, mega tunes. There is so much good stuff coming out of Wakefield at the moment, it’s obscene. Kinda sickening, being a northerner stuck in the south.
Oh, did I mention it was free?