VELVET JONES, SANTA BARBARA, CA
24 MARCH, 2012Spectrals is Louis Jones, a young Englishman whose debut album came out last year on Slumberland. It's low frills melodic rock, with the observational acuity and sly wit of Nick Lowe, and musical flourishes reminiscent of the Smiths. If there's a pocket comparison, call him Kurt Vile's English cousin.
Set started with no fuss, just plug in and go...The flying bass player provided a nice visual foil for the leader as the set progressed.
However, the band fought back gamely, with good humor, and finished on a high note.
It's always enlightening to see how a band responds to adversity, and Spectrals passed the test with flying colors. It was a treat to see their first tour of the States, and I hope they'll return soon.
The set was under an hour, but delivered with a sharpness that intensified the songs delivered, including a cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Everybody Knows', that, (no kidding), prompted an older couple to throw up their hands and flee. The band actually acquitted themselves well on what's become something of an indie standard since Concrete Blonde covered it.
San Diego's Mrs. Magician opened the night with an impeccably tight set of tunes that relied on today's standard indie trope, reverbed surf guitar. They managed to find a way to make it their own, and their debut album should be seeing the light of day this month.