Review of Spiritwo new EP Primitive Twinship
Not too long back the alternative rock group Spiritwo released a 3 song EP entitled Primitive Twinship. In an age where all contemporary music seems to get scrutinised for sounding the bloody same there’s certainly some different stuff going on here… for better and worse.
We kick things off with Soul Mate, which opens with some psychedelic synths and just when you think you’re in for a poppy number it drops… this is when things get interesting. It’s heavy, raw and bombastic but not without melody. More to the point it’s a lot of fun. Yael Claire Shahmoon steals the show with some catchy and VERY distinctive vocal deliveries, especially on the chorus. According to the promo description I received with the EP she sounds kinda like Bjork… don’t ask me to confirm/disprove that, never listened to Bjork in my life. Nailing an exact genre is tricky, they are not a metal band by any stretch of the imagination but this hard-hitting mid-tempo number with the fuzzy guitars certainly gives off a classic doomy vibe that’s been corkscrewed around some contemporary (and decidedly experimental) alternative rock. If they’re Sabbath fans it wouldn’t take me completely by surprise although the potential influence is a subtle one. The song is short but dense, there’s a lot going on so give it a few listens. It’s definitely my favourite track of the EP.
Sometimes is a very different affair, ethereal synths and twisted piano keys make up the bulk of the somewhat limited instrumental element of this number. The music is soft but picks up towards the end and creates a dark, spooky atmosphere. Unfortunately this experience is blown out of the water by Claire’s unnecessarily theatrical vocal work. In stark contrast to the previous number she jumps between shrill shrieking, pseudo operatic deliveries (an “attempt” shall we say) and broken shouting as if trying to impersonate Robert Smith, Oliver Sykes and Matthew Bellamy all at the same time. If creepy was the effect she was going for then shooting for a little more subtlety might have helped but instead it’s just too laughably over the top to be taken seriously and sounds horrible… despite being quirky and experimental the song is incredibly boring and repetitive. The promo description referred to this number as “art noise” and I’m gonna run with that even though their meaning was probably far less derogatory than how I’m choosing to interpret it.
Dive Down picks the pace back up, like the opening track it starts with poppy synths but undergoes an aggressive character change when it drops. Stylistically it is very similar to Soul Mate albeit with some extra-funky basslines thrown in and while it doesn’t soar to the same heights it’s still a lot of fun. Again, there is a lot going on in a short space of time so give a couple of goes. Claire has a great voice when she wants to; it’s chaotic but controlled (does that make sense? Probably not) on this one… if only she was able to pull the reins in on the previous track.
Review by Al Westlake
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