The Spook School – Dress Up
If quotes from the band weren’t on hand to guide you toward it, it’d be easy to miss indie-pop quartet The Spook School’s pronounced interest in issues of sexuality and self. Since they occupy a genre long associated with fluid gender identities (see, for instance, twee’s challenge to conventional notions of masculinity), great swathes of debut Dress Up’s lyrical content seem like standard reiterations of well-established themes: fears of fitting in, the messy bits of relationships etc.
But songs like Are You Who You Think You Are? or History (“I was a boy or so it’s told”) offer more considered takes on the subjects at hand, supplying grist for a record that could otherwise have struggled to distinguish itself from others of its ilk. Not that The Spook School are as serious as all that sounds: joyously noisy, sometimes silly, and always fun, they’re a must-listen for the Indietracks world and worth a swatch for everyone else. [Chris Buckle]