Don’t let the opening few seconds of Nothing to Nowhere fool you. This is not a rock record. Sure, the it features manic guitars with cavernous reverb and edgy percussions that are sure to keep chiropractors employed. But Spectres are more closely related to a post-punk outfit from the netherworld, and ghost punks don’t particularly believe in opportunities for air guitar or subscribe to the idea of using a chorus too often. Call Nothing to Nowhere an exercise in genre gentrification; out with the old and in with the new.
The odd time the Vancouver five-piece replicate something like a chorus on “Maison Gris,” the result is more of a fist pump than a sing-a-long, and the effect is spine tingling to be sure. Even though the album is void of any classic hooks, and Brian Gustavson’s vocals stay firmly rooted in a particular pitch, there is something darkly seductive about the whole affair. Every track comes off as a raw, emotional outpouring of lyrics and provides plenty of fuel to induce an adrenaline-drenched experience. Songs like “Amnesia” and “Decompensation” are highly contagious, extremely danceable, and beg the question of whether Spectres are even capable of a ballad.
For the first minute or so of “Slender Man,” they do manage to slow things down a tad, but any respite with the pace is fleeting and the band keep churning out break neck death-rock with a deliberate attempt at overpowering the senses, and once the addiction takes hold, the urge to replay the record will be fierce and relentless. The faint of heart have been warned.