I show no signs of getting tired of bands that worship at the temple of The Fall’s early days: ungainly lurch, quirky lyrics, atonal-but-strangely-catchy — I can’t get enough. S-S-S-Spectres’ “Witches vs. Wolves” might sound like a runner-up in a fake Fall album/song-title contest, but it made me say “what the heck?” in the its first few seconds, a lugubrious chant of “None will survive” punctuated by a solitary snare. From there it’s on to an unruly bassline and scritchy-scratchy guitar that eventually settles into a propulsive buzzsaw riff. The overlapping male/female vocals describe a witch/wolf conflict that’s perhaps both memetic (”engaged in a secret war/to become to the dominant metaphor,” which manages to sound kinda sexy) and literal (”we will win the day/we’re claiming victory/none will survive”). With its intro, a noisy bridge, and a coda section in addition to verses and choruses, it’s got almost enough textural shifts to fuel a prog epic, but it does all its damage in just a shade over 2 minutes. I can play it 3 or 4 times in a row before I want to move on.
I’m way late to the party with this one. All the hip Brooklyn music blogs cooed over this back in 2007, and the band has already broken up. Sigh.
I have gone all completist about S-S-S-Spectres, and there’s evidence on the Internets that people have listened to tracks — notably “Magic Mountain Reference” and “Your Hands Are Missing Mine” — that I haven’t yet been able to track down. If you can help me listen to those, please get in touch.