A few years after Elliot Minor went on hiatus, Alex Davies found himself fronting a brand new three-piece going by the name Spirits. The group has a significantly smaller line-up than Elliot Minor, and all are more than suitable for Davies’ new musical direction. The line up comprises of Dan Mount on bass guitar and Bob Barrett on drums, two musicians who have shown their talents on this outstanding new album.
The band claim to simply be a rock band, and whilst this is true their music shows strong influences of grunge and punk music, as well as obvious hints of Davies’ classical music style. The distorted, twangy bass sound adds to the grunge feel of the music, along with simple overdriven rhythm guitar and relatively light processing on the drums that give the songs a live feel to them. On top of these features sit interesting and mature guitar riffs and licks along with captivating, ardent vocal lines that bring the essence of Spirits full circle in their musical style. Mount’s bass-lines are outstanding throughout the whole album. They capture your attention when they can and fill out the music’s texture when attention is needed elsewhere.
The style of the release is set by the very first song, ‘Last Man Standing’, which is also one of the highlights of the album. Catchy bass-lines alongside driving drums, that highlight Mount’s guitar riffs beautifully, enter into a shouty, crowd pleaser of a chorus. The beginning of the album shows styles similar to pop-punk bands like Green Day and The Offspring, mainly in the verses with chunky bass-lines and drone-like vocals. ‘Alive’ and ‘In This Low Light’ introduce you to both Davies’ gorgeous screaming voice and his falsetto.
The album’s current single, ‘Unbreakable’, is arguably the best song on the album. Though its most impressive part is its chorus, it does not simply rely on that alone to be an amazing song. It is consistently a brilliant piece of music to listen to and an ideal choice for the album’s leading single. ‘Skin and Bones’ has yet another amazing chorus but again, that is not the only appealing part of the song. Some songs on the album can go on a little long without development, ‘White Noise’ being one of them, but the repetitive content is so well written that it does not drag down the overall quality of the music.
The end of the album is the chest that contains some brilliant gems of music, this is where the band get more creative, straying from their newly distinguished style. ‘Cavaliers’ starts softer than any other piece and builds up into a racing song laden with beautiful harmonies, a close contender for the best song and perfectly placed within the album. The final two tracks seems to be two halves, or acts, of the same song; the band experiment with a haunting style that is a great change from the rest of album, and noticeable when you play the album again from the beginning.
One or two songs can be related back to the style of Elliot Minor, but this isn’t another Elliot Minor album, it is an astounding album from Spirits.
Check out Spirits’ pledge project here.