Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Irish band, Spearside. Spearside is led by brothers Oisín (vocals/guitar) and Cian Walsh (vocals/bass), along with their friend Dylan Zovich (drums). The single, Not Up To Much, was released on March 8, 2023.
Guitarist and singer Oisín Walsh speaks of the inspiration behind the song “Not Up to Much, is about someone revelling in their descent into nihilism. The character in the lyrics takes the tragedy of their life, apathy, and social isolation, and uses it as an excuse to give up, blame others, and crack a wry smile while they do it.”
Not Up To Much hits you from the first beat: coming in with the full band sound. Crunching guitars pound out the rhythms, and the drums and bass sit nicely underneath.
We like the layered vocals, with the lead vocalist sounding a little like Billy Joe Armstrong. The harmony vocals in the choruses are subtle and work particularly well to bolster the lead line and add in some extra character.
Spearside make great use of rise and fall in this track, creating a very dynamic soundscape for the listener and always ensuring there is something fresh to maintain their attention. The upbeat and positive chord progressions belie the sad and tragic lyrics. We particularly like the sections where drums and bass drop out entirely, and the song is carried solely by the rhythm guitars and vocals. This makes for a huge pay off when the drums and bass return to the track.
Not Up To Much has several brief instrumental sections with lead guitar and some interesting synth-like sounds, all leading to an interesting and exciting blend of 90s-leaning indie rock reminiscent of Green Day or The Presidents Of The United States of America.
Ideas from our ears
A boost around 60Hz could add some extra warmth to the kick drum and the low end in general, and another around 300-350Hz could increase the fullness of the sound in that area. To our ears, there are some ‘tinny’ sounds around 1200Hz, so a cut around here could reduce those particular tones. There is not much sound in the top end, so a fairly large boost right across the high mids and highs centred around 10kHz could really increase the presence and clarity in the track. This could, however, result in some increased sibilant tones in the vocal track, so maybe boost only in the backing track. Another great way to increase the top end is to use a single-band compressor in that area with some make-up gain. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
Fri 17 March DUBLIN Whelan’s (Main Room) St Patrick’s Day Festival
Wed 12 April LONDON Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes with Bag Of Cans
Sun 23 July LONDON The Finsbury Pump It Up Power Pop Weekender 22-23 July
Spearside’s latest single, Not Up To Much, comes hot on the heels of previous singles, “Bus Stop” and “Crack in Your Brain”. Recommended for fans of 90s/alt/garage rock.
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