The Specs – The Debut ‘Boxfound’ EP and Our New Writer.
Formed of long-time friends Sam Jim (Guitars, Vocals), Eric Mahoney (Bass) & Nick Senatore (Drums, Percussion), The Specs are politely edging their way into the lucrative New York City Indie scene, kicking things off with their Debut EP Boxfound.
The record was entirely self-produced at their home studio, entirely self released, and I’m sure they won’t mind our saying that the whole approach has been very DIY. The whole vibe of the EP is very laid back, sunny, and otherwise feel-good, so I feel that this approach is best suited to their sound.
The opening track, ‘Time Again’, gives you an instant feel for the rest of the record, with an archetypal Indie chord progression, layered nicely over a fairly complex drum-part and a bass-line brimming with groove, very much setting the tone for the release.
‘Questions’ sets up as the longest track on the EP, and builds, lilting through interesting time signatures, to a heavier break-down/outro section. It brings in elements of neighbouring band Brand New (Deja Entendu era) and more than a slight hint of The Reign Of Kindo, with soulful licks and powerful vocals.
Juxtaposed with this track, ‘Voice 97’ throws the listener a curveball, with a smoother, more soulful vibe. The vocals are almost reminiscent of Terry Callier, while post-chorus the song rips into a Blues-Rock solo, propped up by a “classic rock” style rhythm.
The remaining two songs follow along the same lines; and it’s clear to see this is a band who have been playing together for some time, finding, defining and honing their sound.
The fourth track ‘Paul’, similarly to ‘Questions’, is more of an Alternative Rock track, while the fourth an Indie-Pop, singalong song, giving fans, new and long-term, a balanced, safe ride; it builds to a point, hangs there, and lulls us back home by the end.
It’s difficult to listen to the EP without imagining a mid-summer walk through a park, basking in the sunshine; but that’s the place, for me, where there’s room for improvement.
That’s not to say it’s a “walk in the park”, but I just feel it’s lacking a bit of danger, a degree of je-ne-sais-quoi that would bring it into more risky territory. Imagine the park was in a bad part of town, and the sun was about to set. That’s what I’m hoping for in future releases.
On the whole, this is categorically a band that I can only class as “one to watch”. The EP is an excellent start and will undoubtedly build to better things and, hopefully, more exciting places. 7/10.
Find them below:
- For updates head to Facebook and Twitter.
- For digital downloads & streaming, head to bandcamp and the band’s Youtube Channel.