New York’s Spells And Curses is an interesting group. They don’t really fit neatly in any one category. Their sound reminds me of so many different groups, hardly any of which are similar to another. The NY trio’s newest offering Sinful Things is a borderline psychedelic experience.
I’ve never been to New York, but many of the bands I listen to from that area tend to all bend a wide span of genres due to the widespread diversity of such a city. Spells And Curses are no different, but they do it in a very unique way.
Sinful Things is great driving or background music. I can press play and let it go. Singer/guitarist theRave (yes, they use pseudonyms) has a voice that just melts over the music. He holds long flowing vocal lines that remind me of Chino from Deftones. The music itself evokes mixtures of A Perfect Circle, Radiohead, The Killers, and others. The band mixes bits of electronica and jazz fusion into rock. The lead track, “Mercedes” is a great example of the band’s sound. It stays firmly based in rock, but carries an eerie, ethereal quality to it through both the vocal melody as well as the background programming. The next song, “Through Hell” changes the feel entirely with energetic twin guitar leads that are reminiscent of something Judas Priest or Iron Maiden would do. The song is driving and almost has an 80’s glam rock feel to it. Then just like that, “Wicked For Days” comes on with a great downtown jazz feel to it. I could easily hear Norah Jones singing over the song. The song is slow and sultry, and theRave’s vocals are sweet and soulful and fit the song perfectly. “Vice Grip” and “Cracks In The Mirror” go back into the rock vein with bits of Incubus or Hoobastank shining through the vocal lines. The EP’s closing track, “LasVegasAngeles” gives us one last fresh change by being almost an electronic club track with programmed beats and vocoder effects. Spells And Curses are definitely as diverse as the city they hail from, and use that to their advantage.
The only drawback I can really find is that the songs are all a bit on the long side (“LasVegasAngeles” is the shortest song clocking in at 4:31, the rest being between 5 and 8 minutes!), but the way the songs are put together, you would hardly realize how long the songs really are. That’s hard to pull off if you play anything other than prog or stoner metal lol. Overall, a great offering from a unique band.
Review by: Colin Steele
Rating: 5 / 5
Top Tracks: “Through The Hell”, “Wicked For Days”
Have a Listen Below!