Friday 25 September 2015

Spectres - Spectre

Article by KevW

Sam Smith said it only took him twenty minutes to write the official theme for the new James Bond film 'Spectre', and this morning it was unveiled to the nation. Well, it probably wasn't wearing a veil, but you know what I mean. The reaction of the people? Well Sir Roger Moore likes it, but the general consensus is that it's mediocre at best, sounding either "a bit like 'Earth Song'" or "a bit like an X-Factor ballad". Low praise indeed. Of course it has strings and all that jazz: it's a Bond theme after all, you've got to keep up appearances. But what of noise-rock group Spectres' alternative theme? I guess that given their chosen name, the chance was too good to miss...

It would be easy to cobble together a tune that's an unlistenable load of feedback and distortion to all but a few niche fans. Kind of the opposite of all those "ironic" punk covers of ballads that we've had down the years. Spectres are better than that though; for 'Spectre' they enlisted vocalist Ela Orleans to sing the track as a duet, and while the opening may consist of some scuzzy guitar chords, the rest of the song sounds like... well, it sounds like a perfect modern example of a Bond theme. The haunted, cinematic quality that, historically, has been almost ever-present, remains so. There's drama and suspense, there are strings and understated grandeur. Had this really been the official choice, it wouldn't be heavily criticised for being too left-field. In fact, it's easy to see this being heralded as a slightly edgier take on those classic themes of the past to go with what should be an edgier and more modern take on the franchise itself. Yes, Smith is a bigger star, and the bigger star will always be the chosen one, but, and without the merest hint of irony, Spectres have proved themselves more than capable of doing the job themselves.

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