It has been 3 long years since Spector released their debut LP ‘Enjoy it While it Lasts’ and in that time Spector have transformed the style, sound and mood of their music. In part this is because Spector’s guitarist Christopher Burman, left in 2013 but more importantly than that it is because the band themselves wanted to change its direction and sound with their second full length release. Lead singer, Fred Macpherson in promotion for the release of ‘Moth Boys’ has been talking about how Spector needed to understand who they are as a band and what direction they really want to take the band in and it is clear from the first few listens of ‘Moth Boys’ that Spector have endeavored to do exactly that. Although Spector have exchanged their early 00’s influenced indie rock for a more of a melancholy 80’s synthesized style, it still works and is still an interesting and exciting release from the London four-piece.
The album has been a long time in coming, with the first single ‘All the Sad Young Men’ being released way back in February, and this track is clearly where the inspiration for the remainder of the LP comes from. Instantly you are struck by the progression and difference in Spector’s sound. A strong synth and rhythmic drum beat start off with a somber and reflective mood, something that is seen throughout the album. Macpherson with great self-loathing sings “I’m getting bored of all the songs I write and the people I’ve become” showing that despite the tweak in sound, Spector retain their wit and charm with introspective lyrics that address their relationships and personalities. This is Macpherson at his best, witty, melancholy and importantly self aware in the same style as Ian Curtis and Morrissey.
Spector’s second LP is punctuated by gripping and memorable singles such as “All the Sad Young Men”, “Bad Boyfriend” and “Stay High” which possess Spector’s trademark catchy choruses. “Stay High” in particular, displaying a more euphoric and positive sound which is rare in this release. However the album as a whole is not without its flaws, and at times the rest of the release struggles to elicit the same excitement as the aforementioned singles with a few of the songs, although showing the same 80’s influenced style, lacking the same power and punch.
Nevertheless “Moth Boys” is an extremely slick release from a band that have changed their direction and style successfully. Although many Spector fans from the “Enjoy It While It Lasts” era may be slightly disappointed with the change from the classic indie rock style, it is clear that Spector want to pursue a change and it must be said that their somber, self-aware and witty style on “Moth Boys” undisputedly works.