Man On The Sea (Big Stir Records 2020)
Made up of singer, guitarist and main songwriter Peter Watts, bassist, vocalist Ruth Rogers, keyboardist, vocalist Matt Byrne and drummer, vocalist Alan Cannings, Spygenius has been a going concern since 2008. The British band’s fifth and most recent venture, Man On The Sea will be released July 10th and being a double album, provides twice the listening pleasure.
Steered by vocals best defined as the missing link between the quirky charm of Robyn Hitchcock and Ian Hunter on a Dylanesque bender, Spygenius ices their material with industrious structures, unique hook lines and compelling curves in general. Putting a premium on exploration, Man On The Sea illuminates with color and wonder.
From the vintage dance hall shuffle of Remember Me When I Was Good to the ominous din of Green Eyed Monster to the harmonious jangle of Watch Your Back – which is an admitted renovation of John Lennon and Paul McCartney‘s You’re Going To Lose That Girl – the project stands as a striking survey of mercurial moods that seriously does offer something for everyone.
The brooding psychedelic folk of Dolphinarium 1986 mirrors certain aspects of bands like Procol Harum and Traffic, while Ruth Rogers handles lead vocals on the melodious monogram of Spite and the infectiously jubilant Cafe Emery Hill could easily be mistaken as a paisley-laced bubblegum nugget from the swinging Carnaby Street era. Another True Day rolls in as a nifty guitar pop piece, where cuts such as In A Garden and New Street, rock with strength and balance.
By investigating and embodying various sounds and styles, Spygenius not only preserves multiple musical values on Man On The Sea, but the band adds their own individual touch to their thoughtfully-composed essays, which mix philosophical prose with nautical themes. Prepare for a fun and fascinating odyssey!