I have watched these guys play and listen to their albums for at least five years now, and I have found that their sound is still growing and changing. The difference being with this EP is the fact that they had full control over the album having produced and created the album in their own studio. Pirate Radio Studios.
You can still find their songs which still originate from their first couple of albums but then there are a couple of songs on the album which really hit me by surprise the first time I listened to the album. Having full control of the album meant that they could easily experiment with certain sounds and tones which is highly noticeable on the album. A couple of the songs may find themselves left off of their live shows however as they don’t really carry the same energy and hooks which have created their fan base.
Starting off the Ep is a daunting song called “Dirt Roads”. A bit of a change went into James vocals especially during the starting of the song. I was also a little surprised by the constant tempo change throughout the songs, the song starts off slowly then picks up to only die off again and goes back and forth this way a couple of more times in the song but nearing about three quarters of the way through the song it almost dies out completely. The Reverb added to the vocals was a different touch to the song. The song does leave room for expansion especially for their live shows when James leaves himself lots of playing room for a lengthily guitar solo.
“Hydroplaning” brings me back to their first couple of albums. Raising a few toasts to a special influence of Neil Young in the song and even gets a lyrical nod as well. This song made it to their set list when they played Kingston last week. The opening guitar hook gets played a couple of times throughout the song, which makes me keep a mind set out for it every time I listen to the song. Tommy on drums leaves off at just the right moments and hits it hard to quickly set the right tone and sound for the song. He leaves just the right amount of time for the guitar to make its stand. Also keeping the backbone and groove of the song going is Josh on Bass guitar. If you have listened to a Spades song before then you will quickly enjoy the vocals in the song as well as James leaves out all experimentation out and gives us the vocal performance that we all know and enjoy.
“ESP” can really be a hit and miss song depending on what you are expecting or wanting to hear. If you want to hear a partial psychedelic song from the seventies mixed with a barrage of slide guitar then you are in store for some good listening if not you may want to pass over the song. For an extra punch in the song the guys add in an organ. But if you enjoy the Spades and their influences that they bring into their songs then you will also enjoy the song. The song is a nice laid back listen to type of song; nothing gets too exciting which happens quite frequently in many of their songs. The fade out ending really draws to a close what the guys were building to all song long.
- Dirt Roads
- Future’s Son
- We Could Have Been Flowers
- The Lone Wolf
You Can pick up your copy of the album by visiting their site www.Thespades.ca or www.PirateRadioRecords.Com