The Spills hail from Wakefield, Yorkshire, but you would be hard-pressed to pin the four-piece down to any geographical location between there and the west coast of America. The band already have a few releases under their belt – ‘Smoke Signals’ in 2010, ‘Occam’s Razor’ in 2011, and a split single released last October with label-mates Runaround Kids. That single bridges the gap and paves the way for the ‘Spooky Roller Disco’ EP, with these latter efforts maintaining the grungy edge of those previous: full-throated and laced through with reverby guitar work.
Things start out in the post rock arena as Frakkin’ A begins, and the brief taste of defined guitar picking gives way to a more punk edge, upbeat to the last breath. Gretna Green messes with the time signature, before the vocal dénouement of “I don’t wanna stop living the dream” over dense drums and guitars, gradually transforms from calm statement to screamed intent.
Going Back To Missoula, Montana calls to mind the exuberant interplay of Titus Andronicus, a seven minute opus of infectious indie rock. On the extended solo section, one guitar scours the fretboard while the other provides spidery, reverbed notes until the song breaks down in a feedback wail. Long Weekend takes a more languid approach to close proceedings, for starters at least, ramping it up then scaling back the tempo in the mid-section.
It’s predominantly a rock-out EP, with some memorable hooks, and playful time signature and structural shifts keep things interesting, despite the familiar guitar sound. The pared-back sections – on Long Weekend particularly – show that the band isn’t just built for noise, something that was evident from the Beta Band stylings that reared their head occasionally on ‘Occam’s Razor’. This EP will be an introduction to The Spills for many on this side of the water, and they certainly make a good first impression.