From the shadows at the back of the stage, Spectres emerge to face the crowd and strike the first squealing blows to their guitars, without so much as a word. Humble openings they may be, but with incessant ferocity the Bristol based four piece build noise levels to an intense rumbling, not so much a wall of sound, more a wave, crashing off the walls of the scarcely populated venue and reverberating around your ribcage, punishing and metronomic.
It is often easy to summarise a band from the four most recognisable songs they play. With Spectres, never afraid to buck trends in their career to date, this is impossible. With their air raid guitars and sonic onslaught, they are not easily definable; it’s an experience that has to be had in its entirety. This band possess the ability to enthrall without interaction, conscientiously decreasing the volume to lull those in attendance into a false sense of security, before returning with a sound that greets you like a punch to the side of the head. They are loud, they are hypnotic, they are tinnitus disguised in a cardigan.
Despite the noise levels, which torment the loosely fitted sound-proofing foam above the stage throughout, the power of this band remains in the ability to retain a rhythmic essence beneath the sound of a guitar being thrown down a flight of stairs. Enough remains to keep the head bobbers amongst us interested, continually hooked in as they are by the spiraling sounds. This ear for a tune is most evident on the rare occasions that the feedback is stripped back, revealing a spiky post-punk underbelly that menacingly stalks throughout.
As the feedback washes over you like rain, Spectres suck you in to their compelling and painful sonic journey, from which you do not emerge until they drop their instruments and make a hasty retreat. No encores, no crowd baiting. Just the idea that what has been seen is a unique experience within the modern music industry: holocaustic shoegaze, content with kicking against flat-packed stadium rock mediocrity, and totally immersive.
By Lennon Craig