Retro Review: Spectral Fangs – Spectral Fangs and Memory Girl EPs (2013-2014)

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Over the course of Spectral Fangs’ two EPs, the band exercises a vibrant array of both indie and classic rock motifs, covering every characteristic from warm 60s jangle to 70s rock struts, 80s post-punk to early-aughts garage revival, blending them together and picking them apart at will to make it their own.

Prior to 2013’s Spectral Fangs EP, the band had released a few scattered singles, but had yet to release some kind of statement of identity. A raw, less produced introduction to the band, the EP contains a quick one-two-three punch trio of varied rock tunes. Opening with “Crowded Signals”, probably the group’s most punk sounding track to date, it quickly moves through the happy-go-lucky “Heart of Darkness” (complete with a bouncy, almost tropical flair that makes it a total misnomer) and the smoky, breathy “True Love”, an almost acoustic number and arguably one of their best.

2014’s Memory Girl EP expands upon the self-titled but with a stronger sense of emotion and upgraded production values.  Unlike the confident kids-playing-in-the-garage feel of the self-titled, Memory Girl thinly hides a deep melancholy underneath its shimmering reverb and upbeat rhythms. Depending on whether one plays the record on Bandcamp or Spotify, the listener gets a slightly different tracklisting and experience.  A slightly more natural opener “You Are Watching the Decline” is a flashy, could-be repetitive tribute to the end of the world if it weren’t for a well timed chord change in the middle of the chorus that heightens a peak melody.

This penchant for arrangements and composition is most noticeable in the songs that clearly became multi-layered studio projects.  While the band always knows the right time to insert another harmony over heavily reverbed or buried vocals, later highlights such as “Turns in Reverse” and “20” create moody atmosphere by building a wall of instrumentation.

Definitely Check Out: “Turns in Reverse”, “20”, “True Love”,

Listen to the Spectral Fangs and Memory Girl EPs below.

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