Spectrals Bad Penny

Spectrals Bad Penny
As Spectrals, Louis Jones writes about the angst of being a 21-year-old in love, but with wit and charm. Plus, he does it all pretty much solo, apart from his brother's drumming, so there's no denying that he's a very talented bloke. He plays with a compelling sonic palette that brings together '50s rock, surf twang and indie jangle to create songs that could happily fit in with any time during the past three decades. The string of singles that have preceded it has meant his debut album has been awaited eagerly, but it doesn't quite live up to those expectations. Bad Penny starts off impossibly strong with the superb "Get A Grip" and then struggles to hit those heady heights again. It does almost reach them on the likes of "Big Baby" and "Lockjaw," but much of the album simply pales in comparison to the highlights and no amount of jangle and clever production can overcome that. But as long as Jones continues to write as prolifically as he is at the moment, Spectrals will be just fine because there will always be some gems hidden among the semiprecious rocks. (Slumberland)