The new album from Redspencer is the long-awaited debut full-length release from a band some of us have been following for a while now. Perks, out Friday via Deaf Ambitions, is a refinement of a certain kind of loose-yet-focused indie-pop that few others are attempting these days. The cuts here are uniformly supple and full of limber rhythmic invention.
If the beautiful "Fuss" and "Spare Me" recall the first wave of mellow bands that the United Kingdom offered up following the wake of Coldplay's early successes, then the title cut and "Petrol" from this Aussie crew nod more in the direction of the angular workouts of The Beta Band releases, or more recent numbers from Field Music. The superb "Ride It Out" suggests nothing so much as a Britpop ballad infused with Obscured By Clouds-era Pink Floyd ambiance. There are moments here that hark back to the earlier work of bands like China Crisis, the legacy of Steely Dan carried into the New Wave era and referenced again here, yet for the most part Redspencer are not as concerned with that sort of wonky melodicism. Instead, the Melbourne-based band are fans, clearly, of big hooks even as the instrumentation throughout Perks remains rather understated and subtle. Simple, direct, and lyrical, every cut on Perks has an unassuming lyricism that is very hard to resist.
[Photo: Uncredited promotional image]