With the release of this new EP The Small Wins, Boston based outfit Spook The Herd sets the tone clearly: it's about casual, coherent and oddly beautiful music. Nothing else. Here's what we mean...
Growing up in the 90's means somewhere and somehow you got caught up in the Indie Rock revolution, and hey, some of you maybe even burrowed deeper underground to discover the self-sustaining network of bands and labels that laid the groundwork for it. So if you fast forward about 25 years and look at Spook The Herd, you might think they are perpetuating traditions. The underground band have decided to go "Pop" on this new record, taking time to release a "concise, short record where all the songs [are] constructed with the intention of being a part of the same release", or so reports Jesse, one half of the herd...
What rings out loudest when we talk to the band is their desperation to innovate, experiment and create a coherent record. On their previous release, the band recorded song by song, with whatever influenced them at the time. It meant there was a record with a whole wide range of styles on offer. But The Small Wins EP is different, this is an album where different influences and song writing styles have collided, but under one clear direction.
"We're the sweater your Grandmother got you for Christmas that you never thought you'd wear but end up wearing all the time because it's really comfortable"
The Small Wins EP is a strong record. It kicks off loud and brightly with the lead track Slurpee Surf, a perfect example of what the band is all about. It's classic rock with a twist; a kind of oddly beautiful melodic approach with a bit of graceful swagger. It continues with One Feel Swoop, arguably the only track on the EP which fails to make an impression, but that's okay. Why? Because Beg To Differ, probably the best track on the EP, brings the Rock and Roll back! This is probably what The Dandy Warhols would sound like if they were still a mad mob of experimental rockers. It's fast, loud and catchy.
Song 4 is the downturn of the record. Its sleepy, melancholic lead guitar plays out a simple, resigned melody, which just feels so soft. It breaks up the rhythm of the EP nicely, and contrasts with what's still to come! That's App Tofu. This is the heaviest track of the record with strong, stark, stadium-filling guitars. The track starts on a simple strum which echoes throughout the song, becoming louder and louder each time. Absolute madness would be a good description.
The EP finishes with profoundly sorrowful Running In Place. "Happiness is a place that you often forget, like driving back to your parents house for holidays" sings the band over soft, sweet orchestral manoeuvres. They brilliantly capture and enhance the feeling of sadness. "Pick up my minimum wage It’s getting hard to pretend I’ll be Ok if I save I make believe that I won’t spend" continue the band with ultimate delicacy.