Review: SPECTRES — ‘Nostalgia’

Vancouver’s quintet SPECTRES are torch bearers to the greatness of Echo and the Bunnymen and The Smiths. Their brand of gothy, new-wave brightness, dreamy deathrock, and textural shoegaze isn’t parroting, rather, brilliantly locked in around melody and worth the cash advances.

Nostalgia, their fourth record, glistens with every bass thump, drum fill, and angular riff. Guitarists Adam Mitchell and Zach Batalden tag team a preserved landscape of silvery melodicism and glacial power. Vocalist Brian Gustavson leans into his anthemic ballads and punkish romanticism arms wide open; stunning range, confident, and tender in his mystique. “The Call” showcases the band’s lovelorn aesthetic and inward gaze as does the floating and propulsive, “When Possessed Pray”. Guest vocalist Shannon Hammett pairs with Gustavson as well as Slowdive’s Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell.

Producer Jason Corbett (ACTORS) helms a sparkling, unblemished sound as SPECTRES spill from synths to energetic guitars seamlessly. They’re at their most excitable on “Years of Lead”, a grief-laden set of bursting firework glory. Finale, “Along The Waterfront” bubbles and hopscotches into a majestic sprint courtesy of drummer Mitch Allen and bassist Jason Renix. Sure, Nostalgia’s addictive melodies retro dive into the future, but SPECTRES, just like the cover art displays, achieve it with grace, form, and beauty. 

(Check out Nostalgia below via Bandcamp)


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