The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

REVIEW: Spector – ‘Moth Boys’ (Fiction)

Front cover of 'Moth Boys'

Front cover of ‘Moth Boys’

by Matthew Langham

Formerly of mid-noughties indie group Les Incompetents and Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man, outspoken frontman Fred MacPherson returns with Spector almost three years on from their debut record Enjoy It While It Lasts. Naturally compared to The Vaccines due to their indulgence in heavy production values and glossy, hi-definition indie riffs, it may have featured dramatic retro indie gutpunches like ‘Chevy Thunder’ and ‘Friday Night, Don’t Ever Let It End’, yet accidentally felt as ephemeral and forgettable as the tongue-in-cheek album title itself.

They may have attempted a satirical sideswipe at the ultra-fleeting nature of fame in the internet age, but now Spector are working against the clock to remain relevant themselves. Moth Boys takes on a different identity to their debut record and it sees a heavier electronic influence influenced by ‘80s new-wave and indie classics, rather than their previous pop-rock combination. Overall, it can be compared to the same fate which fellow indie band Editors suffered. Attempting a throwback to the ‘80s electronic period can often lapse into over-indulgence and can leave the listener mind-numbingly bored. Moth Boys doesn’t veer away from its ‘80s feel and this is its downfall – it suffers from being a pastiche rather than having any originality, and is good for one listen before forgetting about it forever.

‘Kyoto Garden’ is pretentious and indulgent, yet it is darkest track they have recorded and is accompanied by synths, which makes it feel slightly refreshing. At a sort of cross between Haim and The Vaccines, ‘Believe’, ‘Don’t Make Me Try’ and ‘Stay High’ don’t live up to expectation. The charm of MacPherson is patently obvious in the live arena, but the harmonies and instrumentation feel rote-learned, leaving a very bland ‘80s indie-pop by numbers soundscape. Recent single ‘Bad Boyfriend’ has a distinctively catchy chorus but it feels comfortable and never threatens to punch outside the boundaries of originality. Moth Boys falls short of expectations following a three year wait. For what is certainly a more mature record from Spector, the tongue is firmly set in this record and it may suffer because of it becoming ‘the difficult second album’. (4/10)

Listen to Moth Boys here!


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