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Music Review

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The Real Feel


Artist: Spiral Stairs
Domino Records
RRP: £11.99
Available 19 October 2009

Spiral Stairs is the former front man of Preston School of Industry, Scott Kannberg. He returns to our turntables with his first debut solo album, The Real Feel.

Written in Seattle and Australia some of the tracks were recorded with some of his former band mates from Preston School of Industry.

Opening this album is ‘True Love’ which has a catchy upbeat tune with some cool guitar riffs and steady drum beats. The vocals are scratchy and give it that lived in feel. A good opener.

Much slower in tempo is ‘Call The Ceasefire’. This is very much a bluesy-country and western song than the previous. It’s good but a little depressing; it brings you down with a bang after the opener.

‘Cold Change’ is more upbeat with a cheeky sounding beat. The tune is light and feels free but unfortunately the vocals bring it down with a low feel of long drawn out whines.

I love the guitar and drum intro to ‘Subiaco Shuffle’; there is life on this album! Then it fades out to bring in a steady beat. Again the only thing that lets this down are the vocals. They are too growly and they just don’t fit with the beat.

‘Wharf-Hand Blues’ is down beat and lifeless. The guitar tries to revive this song but to no avail. Again the lyrics are drawn out and blue. The only saving grace is at 3 mins, 22 secs, when the beat picks up and the guitar seems to pick up too.

‘Maltese T’ has a good opener. It’s cheerful and the beat is cool. At last something to tap your foot to. The backing vocals on the intro bring much needed brightness to this so far quite dull album.

Back to the slow bluesy tune is ‘A Mighty Mighty Fall’. This certainly is a fall after the previous song. The vocals are better though as they are less whiny and feel stronger with more depth and feeling.

Stolen Pills’ is a lively track, with gravely and distorted vocals that bring a feeling of this song being live, although this is not the case. I particularly like the guitar and drums on this single as they fill it with energy and life. Now this is what I expected the rest of the album to be like!

‘The Real Feel’ isn’t really worth a mention as its just 16 seconds in length of nothingness.

‘Blood Money’ brings us back to a slow and dying rhythm with vocals to match. This type of song, and the ones similar on this album, reminds me of that ‘can’t be bothered’ feeling.

This is a really disappointing album especially after the single ‘Stolen Pills’, which was released earlier this month (October 2009) was full of energy and life.

After listening to The Real Feel, I feel I have had my energy sapped from me and believe me it’s not a good feeling.


Helena Rea

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