Upon first listen to Famous World, anyone familiar with the classic Britpop records of the 80s and 90s (Stone Roses’ debut, Parklife, Different Class, etc.) will most likely understandably come to the immediate conclusion that Spesh must hail from the same land that brought us those records. All the right ingredients are there; shimmering guitars, playful melodies, even an arguably British accent in lead singer Michael McKinney’s vocals.
And yet, that listener would be remiss. Spesh, a quartet comprised of Michael McKinney, Sergio Miraz (both former members of Boyfriends), Brian Yeager (Deep Creep, Cute Lepers), and Morgan Dixon, is rooted firmly in the American culture, or specifically, the Seattle culture. It is difficult to hear how much of that culture, if any, has creeped its way into their music.
For a debut album, Spesh delivers a sound that is whimsical, easygoing, and easy to get lost in. The absolute highlight of these characteristics is track three, lead single “Candy Legs”. This track is where Spesh hits closest to their goal, with its memorable vocal melody, clever instrumentation, and replayability. However, there is an underlying sense that they are playing it a bit safe. They do not deviate far away from the reverb-ridden guitar, punchy bass, and drum formula. Besides electronic-sounding keyboard intros on the opener “Teflon” and track seven, “P.a.r.k.a.”, the one exception to this rule is the closing track, “Divine”, which brings the sound of a synthesizer to the forefront throughout, which gives the track an 80s synth-pop feel.
Famous World sees a young band having obvious fun creating a record, albeit at the risk of playing to an audience that may not be local.
Recommended If You Like: The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Pulp, DIIV, Peace
Recommended Tracks: Candy Legs, Tomato Rose
Do Not Play: Olympic Mango
Written by Christian Lemesany on 10/11/2018