What do you do when you call it a day on a revered band? Well, if you’re Niall, who was the phenomenal drummer from the Spook School, you up and start a new band like the Squiggles. Today we get to hear what that sounds like, and we couldn’t be happier for him. It’s a bouncy little rocker with emphatic vocals and discordant chords coursing through things. I love how he still chooses to include those anthemic lyrics built for energetic live performances destined to make fans fawn. Plus, the video lets you catch Niall in his natural habitat; he’s one of the funniest, warmest humans you’re likely to meet. We’re super happy for him, and look forward to hearing the entirety of The Recruitment Drive EP.
Our friends, The Spook School have been on tour with Great Grandpa and Diet Cig. Winter tours can be fickle things, especially if you run through the southwest, shorts and a t-shirt to parkas and snow boots. In speaking with the band’s spokesperson, aka Niall, he shared a few tour anecdotes as he was warming up pre-set in his customary vest and boxer shorts. House party shows, sold out gigs, long runs cross country, actually paying rent while on the road, things are on the up for the band. We are huge fans and love their songs, their message and their shows. Though The Spook School played first, they were our headliners.
Click through for pics of the set and some notes on the bands sharing the stage…
Clearly this is the show pop fans have been waiting for, and you’d better get there right at 6:30 so you can prepare yourself for The Spook School. Sure, they’re the opening act, but they might just have released one of the best albums of the year in Could It Be Different. The record is insightful and biting, but also naturally charming…and no one is doing indiepop better than this band. And, they just kill it live. Hands down. Plus, you also get to see a few other way popular acts in Great Grandpa and Diet Cig…they need no introduction. You can still grab yourself tickets HERE, and once you do, get in line behind me because I’ll be rushing to the stage to sing along with the Spooks at the top of my lungs.
In just over a week I hope you’ll all be heading to your local record shops to pick up the excellent new LP from the Spook School. On this tune, the band take on positive body image, as well as the trappings that seem to go with it. This is precisely what I love about the band…there’s a message in every song, yet they disguise it with this their jittery pop, subversively encouraging you to be better…all the while tapping your toes. It also doesn’t hurt that the midsong breakdown rushing towards the close is an emphatic pop punch I’ll never shy away from. Look for the group’s Could It Be Different next week via Slumberland/Alcopop…and keep your eyes peeled, as they’ll be touring the States real soon with friends Diet Cig.
While we anxiously await the release of The Spook School‘s Could It Be Different (coming early next year), they’ve helped us out by sharing a delightful Christmas tune. Interestingly, and perhaps for the holidays, the band have pulled back on some of their distortion pop, offering a shimmering little indiepop vibe on this number. The single is released this Friday, but the band will also be selling a festive calendar featuring candid photos of drummer Niall…always a good gift idea; you can grab that HERE. Hope this can tide you over until the new LP hits!
Our continued allegiance to the Spook School must go on…especially as the band are readying the release of Could it Be Different for next January via Slumberland. This track features Anna on the vocals (who apparently is a tiger), while the group employ their classic buzzsaw guitars and bouncing rhythm section. One of my favorite attributes about the group in this video, which is also present in their live setting, is the enjoyment they seem to have making music together; even with serious subject matter they always manage to bring a light-heartedness to the affair. Infectious pop at its best, so get ready for the rest come January 26th.
You know we have an undying love affair with the Spook School, and they’re back today with news of a new label and a new record! One of the many things I love about the band is their ability to craft infectious indiepop with serious sentiment in the lyrical content. This song is said to be overcoming abusive relationships, or just being better than an abusive personality…and with a line like “fuck you I’m still alive” who wouldn’t believe them. There’s a message hiding in their hooks, only make the band all more important in your life. The band will release Could It Be Different on Alcopop Records/Slumberland Recordsin January of the 2018. I’ll buy it…you should too.
How is it possible we’re already through SXSW hangover week? It seems like only yesterday the ATH crew was hanging at Hotel Vegas, with Lone Star in hand, kicking off the week a couple of Sundays ago with the awesome lineup put together by Nathan and our boy Mr. Laird. As always, we move on, reflect on the fun behind us, and plan for the next great lineup or festival. Such is the beauty of living in the live music capital of the world. To look back on the festival, Nathan, Brian, and myself came up with an arbitrary list of awards with each of us picking our choice for the category.
Hit the jump for our awards, final thoughts and a few related pics from a fun, exciting, and draining week.
I adore the Spook School; I followed them around all of last SXSW, caught them at least 7 times. Today we continue our coverage by catching up with the band before they cross the Atlantic and make their way back into our hearts. Jump on and get a little introduction to the band, and be sure to guide them to the Vegan hotspots in Austin. Be sure to stream the gem from Continental Drift hanging at the end, featuring some of the best indiepop on any continent. Read more
While Mercury Girls are in the midst of wrapping up their debut, they’ll be a huge part of the Continental Drift compilation, which also features the likes of the Spook School, Tigercats and Wildhoney. One of their tunes just went up this week from the compilation, featuring the shimmering guitar work you’ve come to expect from a band with Kevin Attics; the quick drum work isn’t too shabby either. It all lines up perfectly to leave room for the soaring vocals, which inevitably hold the listener until the end. Be sure to get your copy from Slumberland and Fortuna Pop on August 26th.