by Richard Hart
“If you come at the King, you best not miss” is both a bad ass quote from a great TV show, but also a good life lesson. In case the lingo is lost on you, it’s telling you that if you set your sights on the biggest and the best, you better be able to back up those ambitions.
Cheltenham based band “Spoils” identify themselves a trip hop act. Now they make no claims to be “the new Portishead” or even the iconic “Massive Attack” but they are placing themselves in that same, somewhat slumbering genre of musicians.
Their debut single, backed by it’s video which is now on Youtube, is a surprisingly professional effort by a newly emerging band. So far they’ve had very little publicity so there’s very little to report in terms of a bio. They’re based in Cheltenham where some members of the band are apparently at university.
The track itself, Glass Snakes, has a languid beat and some quite dub influenced effects work in it to set up a sound that feels like it would be happy coming out of a DAB radio on a Summer afternoon. It doesn’t have the tension or paranoia that is often associated with trip-hop music and the whole track has a laid back, confident feel to it.
The actual music is accomplished and confident. The vocal track is a bit weaker. The lead singer’s voice grows on you after the first couple of listens but doesn’t quite have the depth or panache of the music, in a way it’s just a little bit too bland for the track itself.
The video is endearing and was clearly made on a shoe-string. It sees the band members gearing up for some kind of tense confrontation which turns out to be a ping pong game. Some decent use of slow mo and reverse are the only major evidence of anything complex in the video which is sweet but a bit too unpolished. But for an unsigned act with no PR backing them, you can’t expect a whole lot more.
Spoils clearly have some talent and some ambition. Their music is deft and shows signs of there being better to come. At present if you were to compare them to other acts, then a post Kelly Dayton Sneaker Pimps would be the most obvious one at this point. Whilst that may sound negative, that’s a comparison to an accomplished act’s second album.
Decent first swing by Spoils who aren’t currently targeting the King. But if you want to wear that crown it’s going to be a long road yet.