BY MICHAEL TOLAND
In these days of gimmicks and high concepts, it’s always a treat to hear an artist stick to the essence of what she/he/it does. On Sob Story, the second LP from Spectrals, Yorkshire singer/songwriter Louis Jones and his drummer brother Will don’t bother to do anything other than write good songs and play them well. The duo takes inspiration from 90s popsters like Teenage Fanclub and, more significantly, late 70s rockers like Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello and Dave Edmunds, keeping the production simple, the arrangements uncomplicated and the whole affair focused on the songs and the melodies.
It really is as straightforward as that – everything the Jones bros do is geared toward maximizing the hooks and tuneful appeal of sprightly rockers “Milky Way,” “Something to Cry About” and the irresistible delight “Heartbeat Behind,” not to mention the winsome ballads “In a Bad Way,” “Friend Zone” and the title track. It’s always good to know there’s someone out there still doing straight-up guitar pop without irony or pretense.
DOWNLOAD: “Heartbeat Behind,” “Friend Zone,” “Something to Cry About”