Friday, May 31, 2024

Spells - Past Our Prime LP - White Vinyl (/300)


Snappy Little Numbers / Big Neck / Rad Girlfriend / Keep It A Secret / Shield (2024)

Spells are back with their third LP, not counting their two excellent singles comps.  Past Our Prime has been a long time coming, and while I realize bands are not on the yearly album cycles of yesteryear, four years sure feels like a long time since their last full length.  I always wonder if the band is going to undergo any sort of major change or if they we still keep cranking out the tunes that I like.  In the case of Past Our Prime, it's kind of a bit of both.

One of the key selling points of Spells for me is just how so many songs sounded like a party.  Huge energy, catchy riffs and singalong choruses.  While I would never say that this album is lacking in energy, riffs or singalongs, the vibe in general feels more serious to me.  The songs feel a little slower and at times lean into a darker territory, with churning bass and pounding drums.

What this album also has is a huge old pile of gang vocals.  Do you like gang vocals?  My friend, do I have an album for you.  Essentially every song has a thunderous chorus with what feels like the entire world singing along.  Even outside of the choruses, there's a ton of dueling vocals and combo vocals between Stevie and Dusk.  That's not really a surprise when a band has two dedicated vocalists, but it really stands out on this album.

So what does this all mean at the end of the day?  Past Our Prime does feel different than past Spells albums to me.  I don't get the same sort of Rocket From The Crypt leanings or upbeat-ness (unsure that's a word, but let's go with it).  But what I do hear is a band that is coalescing into something bigger than their back catalog.  Every member moves in lockstep with each other, you can hear just how ridiculously tight and on point everything is.  The album is massive sounding and everything has a feeling of being more important than it used to be.  It's an extremely well done and great sounding album.  As I've said, I always felt like Spells was a party band.  They still are, but there's a chance you might get punched in the face at this party.

Spells - Past Our Prime:

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