Spun: Spiral Beach

By Jordyn Marcellus

Sometimes, the most damaging thing to an album is the willingness for the band to degenerate into absurdity and obnoxiousness. In the case of Spiral Beach, an otherwise excellent album turns merely okay because of their stupid musical excesses.

Spiral Beach’s sound is best described as what happens when you give a bunch methed-out, paranoid schizophrenics some instruments, shock their genitals and tell them to make music. Dark and throbbing dance beats and a roaring wall of sound are hallmarks of the album. Ball especially features throat-kicking basslines and maddened, horror-show synths which aren’t usually heard in such wild dance-rock tunes. The entirety of the album sounds like the kind of freakish animal you’d see in the circus carnival of horrors.

The first four songs on the album offer a solid musical beating but instead of continuing, they drop a half-minute electronic squeal to kill the mood. This is a recurring problem–every time there are the beginnings of a climax, the album pulls away at the last second with some obnoxious half-second squealing or musical non-sequitor. These songs add nothing of worth to the album, but are only there as a diversion from the rest of the album, ruining the otherwise dark aesthetic.

Ball is not an album that should be listened straight through. There are much better, more cohesive albums out there. But if you want one with enough thunderous and raucous dance tunes to put into your next workout mix, Ball is perfect.