The Spinto Band - Nice & Nicely Done

Tim Miller 30/05/2006

Rating: 5/5

No sooner have I sat back and absorbed the wonder of iForward, Russia! ringing in a new era of hot and exciting new music than The Spinto Band come along and release possibly the singular soundtrack to the summer.

Ten songs, quaintly packed into 31 minutes, each a slice of feel-good musical brilliance. The 7-piece hail from Delaware, but they sound anything but American-music influenced. They create layered, melodic tunes with a quirky edge, be it instrumentation (from kazoos to neon-keyboard sounds) or the cleverly observed lyrics - for example, the bouncy track 'brown boxes', a song about moving out and moving on without really doing either. The third track 'oh mandy' is the best song about a girl called Mandy since 10CC's “I'm Mandy, Fly Me” back in the 70s, a gentle, up-tempo affair with fragile vocals and a jangly mandolin backdrop. For good measure, echoes of the Beach Boys even float in harmoniously on 'spy vs spy'.

Opener 'did i tell you' is another upbeat track, with a squeaky guitar riff, organ-based accompaniment and a Motown chorus, while 'so kind, stacy' features some of the most bizarre lyrics likely to adorn what would otherwise be a fairly standard indie-pop arrangement: “I knew you'd be driven up the right tree/how could you be altering a marquee”. 'direct to helmet', in comparison, seems to have been written about a piece of art; “how can I state point of view you create?”

The Spinto Band offer tuneful pop with an ear for an unusual but highly effective chord change, an aural delight for the connoisseur of interesting songwriting: more accomplished than the Mystery Jets, more pleasant than Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Their sometimes dissonant, sometimes summery harmonies inject the songs with yet more attention to detail, every note a carefully selected stitch in the vast musical tapestry each song becomes, not least on 'direct to helmet', probably the best song on the album. The album closes with 'mountains', echoing 1950s Grease-era high-school tunes, before moving into a brilliant minor/major chord middle eight.

There's too much to identify about The Spinto Band's debut. Each song has its own unique hooks, those extra special few seconds of musical creativity which discern great songs from good ones. A masterclass in memorable melodies (that word again), perfect soundscapes and humorous lyrics, The Spinto band's debut is sure to make a big splash into the musical ocean this summer. Nicely done, indeed.

Released 29th May 2006.