Monday 2 January 2012

Spotlight Kid - Disaster Tourist

Album review by KevW

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When Spotlight Kid released their debut, 'Departure', Tony Blair was grinning his way through a third term at the helm of pre-recession Britain, and Steve McLaren had recently succeeded Sven to begin a disastrous tenure at the helm of the soon to become shambolic England football team. Despite punctuating their lengthy hibernation with a couple of singles, it's fair to say that they've been a little sluggish in producing a follow up album, and in that time many things have changed; Spotlight Kid's sound, though, has remained pretty much as it was. The only noticeable differences are that this time round things are just a touch more refined and the songs are just that bit bigger and better.

'Disaster Tourist' is a record built from huge screens of shimmering noise offset by the honeyed, otherworldly vocals that are the trademark of all the great bands from the dreampop end of the shoegaze spectrum. Treated guitars and synths blend to become indistinguishable and feedback is kept restrained in the mix which prevents things becoming too harsh. All this adds up to eleven tracks that are accessible without veering too close to the mainstream. 'All Is Real', 'Forget Yourself In Me', 'Plan Comes Apart' and others emphatically soar, and despite being succinct in length could easily be described using words like 'epic' and 'towering'.

What hits you the most about 'Disaster Tourist' is that it sounds like the work of a band giving it absolutely everything they've got and succeeding, making music like it really matters. There is a similarity to fellow Nottingham revivalists Amusement Parks On Fire, but this record outdoes that band in terms of sheer beauty and is on a par with much produced by originators such as Swervedriver, My Bloody Valentine and Chapterhouse - although lacking their originality. That we've now entered 2012 won't matter a jot to Spotlight Kid, because somewhere in their hearts it's perpetually 1991, and long may it continue to be.

Haunting Me (Album version) - Spotlight Kid by robmccleary

Spotlight Kid's website

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