“SPANEES” is not a word, neither a noun or a adjective. It’s a mistaken spelling that has on it’s own accord began to represent the frivolous nature of a Spankees show, which itself captures the welcoming spirit and open attitude that exudes from the Falmouth community. With their first EP, ‘Spank You Very Much’, the trio of Curt Halling, Christian Cleave & Ben Nightingale displayed raucously punk enthusiasm with the familiar tone of their town’s evolving Garage-Rock template. Now with their new EP, ‘Keesq’, The Spankees have uncovered five Garage-Pop nuggets which sound instantaneously compelling and flawlessly typifies the aforementioned ethos that is on exhibition live.
The fact that the EP was recorded over a night in “one or two takes” may come as a surprise, but when you listen to each track’s immediacy and at-times agitated tone, you realise if it was done any other way perhaps this record would lose something that makes it so vital. The Spankees deliver with such ease and enjoyment that it comes across naturally, exemplified in hearing producer Max Jacomb clarify simply at the end of the first takes of stirring opener ‘Hollyoaks‘, “that’s the one“.
Jacomb’s (Producer of The Black Tambourines first record amongst others) approach melds well with The Spankees’ strident tone, Halling’s vocal allowed to stretch with each wretched note remaining, the vocal turn through ‘Living So Well’ wringing every drop of emotion, something we’ve not heard previously from their music, yet warming us even more to their development into introspection. Yet what’s even more inviting is the full unveiling of the band’s melodic nuances.
Through the unfiltered fuzz, each track is truly understated in it’s song-writing, emitting an energy that can’t be hindered. From the spry beat-band hooks that open ‘Hollyoaks‘ to the minor progression that carries ‘On My Own‘, their pop sensibilities are apparent from the offset. Each chorus emotes an uplifting punch, packing raw delivery with an unshakable vehemence, all whilst delivering swift hooks of harmony within a short, direct form.
Sonically, the group elicit the unperturbed disposition of their hometown, a free-for-all in open creativity that is exhilarated by the community they are a part of. In their lyrical output, a youthful stance materialises that is in parts self-deprecating (On My Own’s “I Hate That I Like This So Much”) and in others cynical (The unwavering refrain of “It’s over now, we’ve reached the end, nothing’s the same, let’s go our separate ways” from Untitled) but that throughout retains that primary, untiring attitude of instilling a positive outcome, in the belief that everything isn’t that bad.
Within this EP, The Spankees have developed naturally into a much-welcomed prospect. Their ability with a hook, hidden underneath the waves of distorted chords, are utterly compelling and cleverly characterises the auspicious resonance from within the wharf. The band have developed an untempered garage-pop substance thats ebullience cannot be ignored.