Home > News & Reviews > The Spook School

The Spook School - Could It Be Different? (Album Review)

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 Written by Jennifer Geddes

There is strength in vulnerability on the Spook School’s third album, ‘Could It Be Different?’. And it’s more than just a rush of power chords that fills the listener with enthusiasm. Over fuzzy feedback and infectious guitar hooks, the band reveal their fears and hopes about politics, relationships and their own selves.

The album opens with a sound clip from stand up and activist Josie Long - perhaps the band’s comedic equivalent - as she talks about about how the government is grinding her down. Her response is to say ‘fuck them’. This combination of feeling and resolve feeds throughout the album.

Bad Year was written the day after the Brexit vote. “It’s been a bad year and I don’t think it’s getting any better any time soon,” Nye Todd sings. “And I’m so scared what’s coming, I don’t know what to do. I want to help. I want all of my friends not to be terrified. I’d like to understand and not give in to the anger that’s inside.”

It’s a sentiment that 49% of the UK, waking up the same morning, probably felt. The band don’t use the track as political platform, though, instead focusing on the emotional response: “I admire your optimism. But Sometimes I just need to feel it. Just need to take a moment before I can’t start dealing.” The track ends with with a realistic but positive message: “Tomorrow we’ll wake up and keep on going.”

The Spook School want to fill their audience with a sense of power. Body is a positive message written about Nye embracing his trans identity. “Do you believe me when I tell you you’re beautiful?” he sings. “‘Cos I know I don’t believe you. I still hate my body. But I’m learning to love what it can do.” At shows the band request gender neutral toilets and push to make them a safe space for everyone. It’s not a coincidence they can feel like something special.

While the band often write about trans and queer issues, the songs on ‘Could It Be Different?’ are universally relatable however you identify. That's whether it’s a house party romance on I Only Dance When I Want To, or wondering what life might have been like if you had been different as a teenager on High School: “And if I played sports in high school, would I have wasted less time? Would I have come out earlier, or would I keep it inside?”

‘Could It Be Different?’ answers its titular question through its own existence. Through the Spook School‘s own actions they provide a place where we can all work through our pain with an emphatic fuck you and indie-pop dancing.





Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!




You May Also Like:

Weed, Riffs And Prog: Boss Keloid Head Into The Unknown
Thu 26 Apr 2018
In a little under a decade together, Boss Keloid have earned a good deal of support from the metal community. Having risen up from scene in the northwest of England, the Wigan five piece have performed at Bloodstock and been hotly tipped by Metal Hammer, Kerrang, and Terrorizer. Much of this acclaim is owed to their killer sophomore album, ‘Herb Your Enthusiasm’, which, understandably, turned the heads of stoner-doom enthusiasts across the weedesphere back in 2016.
Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy (Album Review)
Fri 13 Apr 2018
One thing is for sure: Cardi B is no one hit wonder.
Music Is Meant To Inspire: How Brothers Osborne Created The Sprawling 'Port Saint Joe'
Fri 04 May 2018
The notion of genre as insular and self-contained is eroding. In a way that reflects our increasingly interconnected global community, exposure to a wider variety of influences means that fewer artists will stick devoutly to one style. Stuffy traditionalists will complain, but on their sophomore record ‘Port Saint Joe’ the Brothers Osborne show exactly why such an eclectic approach can reboot venerable musical forms in a fresh and exciting way.
John Prine - Tree of Forgiveness (Album Review)
Thu 19 Apr 2018
‘The Tree of Forgiveness’, John Prine’s first album of originals in 13 years, sees the singer-songwriter deliver a fine collection of folksy Americana, with his distinctive and understated drawl presenting themes of mortality and rejuvenation. It is an album of genteel humour and quiet existentialism that should inform (and remind) listeners of his rare talent.
Music Was Always There: Jake Ewald Talks Starting Again With Slaughter Beach, Dog
Fri 04 May 2018
Photo: Jess Flynn Back in February of last year, Jake Ewald had to find a new job. After several years spent writing records and touring with Modern Baseball, the band went on indefinite hiatus. The statement they released referred to the fact that they had been “championing the importance of mental health” and that the band had become a source of anxiety that they could no longer ignore.
Grouper - Grid of Points (Album Review)
Mon 30 Apr 2018
Photo: Tanja Engelbert Liz Harris is an interesting musician.
Rough Hands - Moral Terror EP (Album Review)
Tue 17 Apr 2018
Photo: Harry Steel Rough Hands’ ‘Moral Terror’ EP is an example of intelligent British hardcore that will nevertheless satisfy your unquenchable mosh pit bloodlust. It would certainly be a fitting soundtrack for isolationist misanthropy, or maybe sending a windmilling elbow towards someone’s face. But there is more at at work here than just noise and chest-beating.
Princess Nokia - A Girl Cried Red (Album Review)
Thu 26 Apr 2018
Photo: Alberto Vargas There's something immensely likeable about east coast rap whizz Princess Nokia, at least at first glance. She's a strong role model for young women in hip hop, known for advocating a feminist ethos and calling out racism, homophobia and body shaming at every opportunity. Her label debut, '1992 Deluxe', though inconsistent, was colourful and abstract, with each track exhibiting a different aspect of her fascinating personality.
 
< Prev   Next >