The Spinto Band – Moonwink

The Spinto Band

The only word the Spinto Band has no use for is “slow”. Just about everything else has its place in the chaotic world the Spintos inhabit but “slow” isn’t something they do. Every track on Moonwink is taken at a furious pace, without things ever seeming to slip up in the musicianship department. Perhaps experience has its role to play here, after all this is the Spinto Bands 9th album, and they’ve doubtlessly honed their frenetic japery towards levels of refinement only usually encountered in the folk circuit. Duelling telecasters aren’t very common nowadays.

Stylistically there are some very apparent influences at work here, such as the more involved moments of the Postcard school of early 80s Britpop, and a closer listen will reveal numerous references to some more recent UK bands of the kind that crossed over from experimentalism towards the mainstream. The Spinto Band would, I’m certain, know who the Monochrome Set were. And Josef K. And The Woodentops. The Spinto Band is working at very English levels of timing and verbosity, and perhaps wouldn’t generate quite as much attention were they from Huddersfield rather than Delaware. Which isn’t to say no-one would then listen, far from it. Just that an actually British Spinto Band would sound a lot less structured and a a bit more laid back than the Wilmington six piece are on their latest offering.

But of course with experience comes the ability to expand on even the more simplistic moments. The guitars are firmly reined, the keyboards are agreeably edgy,the pace is unremittingly breathless. Trad speed-jazz? Combining vaudeville melodies alongside a quirky pop sensibility lifts the eleven songs here above the merely angular and takes us to a unique space, and probably not somewhere everyone would want to go, but to my ears Moonwink‘s only real flaw is its brevity. With the jittery energies of silent comedy jostling alongside lyrical conceits worthy of Tom Lehrer and a production that adds a vaguely sinister gloss to the entire proceedings, this is an album of the year, somewhere or other.