Bad Penny

Bad Penny

The fact that Slumberland released this debut by Spectrals (a.k.a. Louis Jones) makes for a perfect pairing. Bad Penny resonates with a deep love for the bygone C86 sound, where whimsical melodies and jangly guitars shine through a tastefully muted production (here courtesy of Richard Formby from the band Spectrum). “Get a Grip” starts things with what sounds like an old Rickenbacker chiming alongside buoyant beats and a bass that’s not afraid to climb down the fretboard and pump out salient melodies. Jones’ subtle English accent goes perfectly with his lackadaisical vocal approach, especially on “Lockjaw,” when he sings “You can’t take everything too hard” while sounding a bit like a slow-motion Morrissey. The guitar and keyboard melodies of “You Don’t Have to Tell Me” nearly upstage Jones’ own, but he makes up for it in spades with the memorable “Luck Is There to Be Pushed,” which smolders on a slow-burning attack. “Confetti” is another catchy ditty that’s sure to get critics dusting off comparisons to recordings by Prefab Sprout and The Pastels.

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