Spectorbullets: A Mayakovsky Produkt

Posted by in April's Magazine

To my mind, the debut album from the international band – relocated to Edinburgh: Leith province – Spectorbullets deserves 10 stars and your full attention. Why? You ask…okay, I’ll tell you. From the international band – relocated to Edinburgh: Leith province – Spectorbullets deserves 10 stars and your full attention. Why? You ask…okay, I’ll tell you.

From the gentle opening of He Needs It, featuring the late poet Paul Reekie (R.I.P. – who may now indeed be ‘God’s private tailor’), until the closing jangle of Queen of Sweden, we are in a quandary as to which shelf, and amongst which acts this CD should be placed. The band’s name suggests a BIG sound, yet there is too a resonating low-why-fi echo which, after a listen or two can be found on our lips at bus-stops everywhere. The music has a languidity that attracts and the vocals alternate from soft almost lisped lines to sounding like it was a fight to get the words out.


Russell Burn (drummer) and Gustaf Heden (guitarist/vocals) have, in this piece of European barroom drama, introduced a reason why French music never became cool during the formative period of pap (otherwise known as pop); they never had a Spectorbullets. Jacques Dutronc would not be out of place in this band, nor would Bertolt Brecht and perhaps Schuman & Blau (English translators of Jacques Brel’s songs), with – of course – the remnants of any band Phil Spector himself produced. Just listen to Goldmine and you will know what I mean, man. I particularly enjoyed Deadest Room on the Block (should that be Bloc?), particularly the line, ‘The gas leaks in the air could still set us ablaze, so I’d love you to stay’. The first single Mayakovski it Ain’t follows, with its scattergun guitar and murky drums, sounding like the first track recorded for the album. She Needs It, a diptych of the opening track in waltz-march-time, has a nice clumpety-bumpety piano that pauses while Mick Ronson’s little brother climbs the stairs.

The hideousness of the ‘decent and their jokes’ is explored in Prince of the Sun a delicate song indeed. Lyrically Drop epitomises Heden’s concerns and particular way of seeing the world. One could almost imagine the video for this song as essentially a recreation of Godard’s À bout de souffle, particularly the closing line. (The ‘decent and their hopes’ indeed.) Danny’s Day boasts a sad lyric that hints at an underlying positiveness – another diamond on this album for me, particularly the line: ‘He drops some coppers in the Muslim charity bucket ‘cause he hates the fucking cops’.

The closing three songs, Miss Ground Zero (‘…they make a fortune out of all our sorrows, and our castration’), The Buffalos, with its description of the sky being like ‘the colour of an ice-lolly I’d love to try’, and the aforementioned Queen of Sweden (‘Uh-huh’) further consolidate and reaffirm this album’s position amongst the long list of great debuts and leaves one full of anticipation for future Spectorbullets releases.

As a musician myself, I ask all of you who enjoy music to take a chance, listen to this CD. If it is not your cup of tea, pour it out for others, I know they will like it. But, no sugar please, only ‘internal renovation for the soul’.

One response to “Spectorbullets: A Mayakovsky Produkt”

  1. batty says:

    Are in a dilemma, the music sounds like a symphony of fate. Help us useful for understanding the trajectory of an idea. Thank you unique insights. http://bit.ly/1udAB2n

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