The Spook Lights spent all day Saturday shooting their second full-length feature for Scarum Harum. I was worried that seven hours of filming in an un-air-conditioned garage would've taken a bit out of members Scary Manilow and Curvacia Vavoom. But that was not the case. Their show at the Replay Saturday night was a tightly focused garage rockabilly attack.
Every time I see the Spook Lights, it seems like they've got a new drummer, but they also seem to improve exponentially with each unfamiliar face behind the kit. While having to teach all of the songs to someone new every year or so can't be a fun experience for the three original Spook Lights, it seems that having to revisit their entire catalog imbues those old songs with new life. The best part of watching the Spook Lights evolve over the past few years has been watching Curvacia Vavoom evolve as a guitarist and performer. The demonic glee and enthusiasm on her face during the band's ode to Jane Mansfield, "Pink Palace," were as much a delight as the riffs she was pulling out of her guitar.
Nick Spacek The Spook Lights
Their songs got LOUD, filling the Replay with an astounding amount of distortion. An organ laid down a mind-mending bed for the Paperhead's fuzz-drenched rock, with the guitar and bass swirling around. The audience was unfortunately small (especially given the massive patio crowd), but I got a lot of agreeable head nods from every friend I saw in the audience.
Openers Brain Donor played all of 10 minutes, with frontman Zach Campbell thrashing around the bar with a vengeance. Their brand of post-hardcore screamy punk rock recalled the golden era of Touch & Go. Nothing doing in terms of new ground being broken, but it's fun as hell.
If I have any complaint about the show, it was that there were hundreds of people out on the patio, and hardly anyone inside. All three bands played fantastic sets, yet, even as headliners, the Spook Lights played to maybe 40 people.
Critical Bias: I'd buy everything Trouble In Mind put out, if I could afford it.
Overheard: "I wore sandals because I thought this was a Spook Lights show. I didn't think it was gonna get all punk rock."
Spook Lights set list:
Shake Shake Shake