The Spires

Curved Space

From the opening chords and pulsating drums of “Kent Studies,” we get the sense that Curved Space might just be The Spires’ rock-out record. Though the Ventura natives don’t tread too far from their long-held musical touchstones here (think Pavement meets Yo La Tengo), the EP is an undeniably more upbeat affair than last year’s brooding triumph, A Way of Seeing. Over the course of seven tracks, the trio dishes out everything from reverb-heavy pop (“Dreamer in My Mind”) to Joy Division-esque lo-fi (“Orange Yellow”) with a newfound sense of musical enthusiasm. The drum work is still subtle but driving, the guitars still crank in all the right places, and frontman Jason Bay’s pointed deliveries still call to mind the ’80s New Wave greats, but the result is a record that’s just punchy enough to catch us off guard and give us reason to fall in love with The Spires all over again.

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