Spectres deliver the goods on Nothing to Nowhere

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Spectres

Nothing to Nowhere (Deranged/Sabotage)

There’s a good chance that the guys in Spectres are full of shit, and we’re all the better for it. Just take their sophomore set, Nothing to Nowhere. Despite the glum and giving-up album title and the bleak nature of most of its melodies, there’s a spark surging throughout the LP that suggests the death-rock crew isn’t ready to give up on life just yet.

Even so, opener “Between Two Lines” is a postpunk funeral dirge full of morose bass lines and God-and-government-critiquing lyrics that leave the protagonist condemned to the other side of the fence. But despite apparently being branded a traitor, there’s hope in singer Brian Gustavson’s voice as he sticks to his ideals.

Punchier numbers like “Passages” and “Decompensation” suggest the influence of Southern Death Cult and the Sisters of Mercy—the latter coming across like “Temple of Love” as sung by an early-days Ian Astbury. While the bulk of the LP gets by on these kinds of dour-but-driving fist-pumpers, “Return to the Sea” closes out Nothing to Nowhere with an epic arrangement that wrangles eerily textured six-string licks, a chaotic and clattering crescendo, and tribal tom-tom thudding into a gracefully gloomy finale.

Spectres fooled us, all right. You go into its latest album expecting nothing, but, God, it delivers so much more.

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