Album Review: The Spook School – Try To Be Hopeful

Lucas Dalakian December 22, 2015 New Music, Reviews No Comments

The Spook School

Photo Credit: Michael Wood
Try To Be Hopeful is the latest record from Scotland’s The Spook School. A punk album through and through, the band explores the nature of gender and identity. The album is fuzzy, in a good way, and well mixed. The vocals are at the forefront which proves to be a great decision. The lyrics dig deeply into the heart of the struggles of a queer punk, and there are so many anthemic lines that are relatable to anyone.

The album starts with a quiet intro on “Burn Masculinity”, and moves straight out to driving drums, and punctuating cuts. “Richard and Judy’ continues with some great lyrical content. One of my favorite lines on the record, “And we don’t need you / to know that we exist / We’ll keep on going.” Again, the rhythm of the drums and bass follow the vocals closely, stamping verse lines into the listeners head.

August 17th explores the question of exclusivity, and monogomy. “Just because you’re in love, doesn’t mean your heart is taken.” Doubled vocals discuss the validity of fidelity, and jealousy. Feedback and background noise build throughout the song to an eventual horn solo. This one is a feeler.

“Everybody Needs To Be in Love” brings back the punk atmosphere, and shows the versatility of this album, with very easy-to-listen-to guitar leads, and more cuts. The song is broken down to a very mellow section, but brought back up with a guitar solo. A bit lengthy for a middle of the album track.

I really dug the production and organization of “Vicious Machine.” The intro and verse have great guitar lines, that sound very unique. Again, some signature guitar melodies come in, post-chorus.

“I Want To Kiss You” is a pop song, and a good one. There’s some old school 50’s swing in there, straying from the punk persona, but showing versatility. They bring it right back to some fast punk on “Books And Hooks And Movements” as well as “Binary.”

The album closes with the title track, a slow burner with powerful and meta line “I’ll try, try to be hopeful / if you try, try to be hopeful.”

If you’re into some old school Punk sound with Pop sensibility and a lyrical focus on gender, identity, culture, and sexuality, you should give this record a listen.

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About The Author

Lucas is the guitar player for ROMP and sometimes plays and produces Toy Cars when he's not kicked out of the band. Away from music, he's watching his favorite sports teams lose over hoppy beers. Rutgers graduate: Business/Music.

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