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AAA Music | 19 June 2024

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St Spirit – Road At The Rise

| On 16, Jul 2012

Despite claims to post-rock, what I first heard in St Spirit’s ‘Road At The Rise’ is heavy doses of The Smiths, albeit wrapped in a rather more artsy shell. The reliance on shrouds of lilting, atmospheric guitar melody is there, but the song itself retains a morose, pop-influenced edge with morose deep lead vocals in the verses and a disguised ear for a hook underneath the cymbal-heavy rush of sound. This combination of the atmospheric, expansive post-rock aspirations and melodic sensibilities make for uneasy bedfellows, as the hook remains teasingly embedded in a wash of hissing sonics and crooning vocal soundscapes, which in turn could be raised to the level of incredible art if they were allowed to unfold beyond the scope of a pop chorus in a soundscape’s hand-me-down jacket. The choral interplay in the background (but not backing, per se) vocals, as well as a clever mirror in the instruments themselves that means the track holds a complex yet tight sonic density and lushness, is very, very well-executed and can’t fail to create a lift that catches the listener. I can’t help but feel that, just as I Like Trains are a goth’s post-rock of choice, St Spirit could yet find a niche for the current brood of indie fans that have risen in the ‘00s. Perhaps not on the strength of ‘Road At The Rise’ in and as of itself, but on the grounds of what strikes me as a solid foundation of ability upon which to build.

Katie H-Halinski