Given Spectrals’ – aka Louis Jones’s – thick Yorkshire accent (he’s from Leeds), it’s become increasingly difficult to not liken his work to that of Alex Turner’s. On debut album ‘Bad Penny’ the two are closer than ever, with Jones slightly less in love with the doo-wop of his early singles, and Turner having released his bittersweet soundtrack to Submarine. Where one often sings about sex though, the other is a romantic – this is, as Jones says, a record of love songs about his girlfriend. At its lowest point (the jazz drum lollop of ‘Many Happy Returns’), Spectrals’ laconic style veers on the sluggish, while the jolly jangle of ‘Get a Grip’ is much better. It’s on Jones’ take on 60s hop music where he still shines brightest though; ‘Confetti’ being a measured dose of sweet naivety and giddy calypso rhythms. Records this ‘nice’ are rarely truly brilliant, and ‘Bad Penny’ doesn’t prove that theory wrong. If you like your surf pop hooky and heartfelt though, it’ll do very nicely indeed.

By Stuart Stubbs

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