It’s no wonder that Spielbergs have previous received comparisons to acts like Japandroids and …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, given their penchant for scuzzy indie-rock that goes a long way in breaking convention. This trio have already garnered a certain level of acclaim for it, breaking out of their native Norway to make an even bigger noise on the world stage, even with a relative dearth of live experience to their name. Still, there’s always debut EP Distant Star to hone whatever skills are needed to really have an impact.
Though listening to these five tracks, it’s difficult to believe that anything has really been honed, as this is a remarkably loose, rough release. And there’s definitely appeal to that, particularly in showing what Spielbergs are capable of; tracks like Daisy! It’s The New Me and the title track are true to form in a merging of a noise-rock raggedness with emo-esque examinations. The biggest talking point though, is the eight-minute centrepiece Ghost Boy, feeding their typical scrappiness down an expansive post-rock filer for something that definitely breaks away from the norm, and displays an adventurousness that can’t be undermined.
But even with all that, it’s so easy to tell that Spielbergs are still finding their feet. Sure, the lack of polish is the point here, but there’s an overall lack of definition that can lead to a runny mass, and having Mads Baklien’s vocals pushed midway in the mix doesn’t work as well as they want to, even if it does accentuate the lo-fi aesthetic. And it’s very possible that these are the decisions that Spielbergs made of their own accord, but it still doesn’t make it sound any better or more well-rounded.
And yet, Distant Star doesn’t seem that unworkable, particularly for those more accustomed and friendly towards this sound. It’s difficult to deny that Spielbergs are still finding their feet, but this is the sort of EP that ensures that – to some degree at least – they know what they’re doing, and it’s not as if this sound is completely incapable of being built upon. There’s at least a core of a good band here that needs to be isolated to really feel the benefits.
For fans of: Japandroids, Superchunk, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Distant Star’ by Spielbergs is released on 27th April on By The Time It Gets Dark.