The Spectacle Experiment
Just In Time For Nothing LP

‘A tribute to sonic astronauts everywhere’; the way Hadrian Mordecai tells it, the destruction of his synthesizers by fire caused him to change his musical course completely, buying a semi-acoustic hollow-body guitar and effect pedals – lots of effect pedals.

‘Drawn out’ is the watchword for nearly every song here. The Spectacle Experiment happily take their own sweet time about getting anywhere, using very few chords and layering them with mountains of noise. Mordecai’s background as a Gothic industrialist haunts the early stages of ‘Just in Time for Nothing’. ‘One More Day’ is all heavy gloom and the next two songs rail against an ex-lover while lacking the charm or musical imagination to elicit sympathy.

With bile duly exorcised, the mood changes for the better. The last seven songs are hardly light and airy, but they’re mercifully less oppressive. All follow the same template of steady development, but each has its own quirks and styles. ‘Last You’ll Hear From Me’ has that echoing guitar/piano ambience you find on early Buffalo Tom highlights like ‘Frozen Lake’, while ‘Out of Focus’ could be one of the quieter moments of REM’s ‘Up’.

Really though, this is all a prelude. In a sense, The Spectacle Experiment have been keeping their powder very dry throughout the whole album while waiting to unleash ‘Never Thought’, where he touches the territory of Mercury Rev at their dreamiest. Heartbreakingly melodic and reflective, it just doesn’t go on for long enough. Of course, this means it can be played again, and again, and yet again. Hopefully they’ll release a double album version in which CD1 is the first nine songs, and CD2 is an hour-long version of ‘Never Thought’. Questions will be asked, Hadrian Mordecai will be hung in effigy by punk purists like some art-rock Cristiano Ronaldo, and the world will be a more beautiful place (due to the music, not the effigy abuse).

Truly, a pair of shoes lovingly gazed at, can be a joy forever. ‘Never Thought’, though, is sprawled on its back in the most beautiful field ever – you know the one, you’ve probably been there yourself – gazing at the stars.

Written by McLaughlin on

Stuart McLaughlin was a regular write for [the-mag] and was frequently seen in live music venues in search of great new music.
Stuart McLaughlin

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