Spiral Stairs – The Real Feel
Spiral Stairs is back after some time (five or so years I think) with a solo LP, dealing with love, loss and divorce. Though you’d never really guess if you restricted your listening of this album to the opening track. True Love is a jaunty strut replete with scratchy guitar and raggedy drums that has a bit of the Bunnymen about it. Everything gets nice and up-beat by the end, too. Still, listening to the country lament of A Mighty Fall leaves the listener in no doubt as to this LP’s prevalent theme.
Apparently Monsieur Stairs has been spending a lot of time in Australia, and it doesn’t half show in tracks like Call the Ceasefire and Wharf-Hand Blues and the Ed Kuepper-esque Blood Money, which have that widescreen, bleached-out melancholy that you can hear in records by The Triffids or The Drones. And the vocal delivery now and again has that plaintive ‘Australian’ quality of sounding like someone singing in a deserted open space. The raucous Stolen Pills has a definite Aussie-rock feel to it, and there’s real menace in country-fied stomps in stuff like Subiaco Shuffle which has a great glam rock undercurrent, or the strange jingle-jangle of Maltese T which is about a Maltese Terrier, you know those small white dogs that look that they couldn’t chew through a paper bag…
A rockin’ and brooding release, that’s for sure and one well worth picking up if you’re feeling moody.
Words: Richard Foster