Every so often a band comes around whose music is met with the kind of universal acclaim from listeners across the spectrum. Norway’s post-hardcore/rock outfit, Spielbergs, have rocketed into that sphere with their debut album This Is Not The End. Mainstream press are enjoying the record, so is the indie underground, and judgmental old punks like myself are already finding it hard to not consider it one of the year’s best with every repeated listen.
Premature? Perhaps, and hopefully it is not because we are all caught up in the swell of praise and lost in all the adulation it has received. But as soon as the feedback-laden fuzz of the opening cut “Five On It” kicks in, you know you’re in for something of a great ride. The Superchunk sounding “Distant Star” made its mark on their debut EP last year, but it doesn’t mean the song doesn’t stand out again on the LP. Its melodic overtures, coupled with the low-end vibrations swirl in a delirious, joyous amalgamation of indie rock’s best moments. And there’s just something about the synthesizer coated ending to the song that makes it complete. If This Is Not The End doesn’t end up being one of 2019’s best albums, then “Distant Star” certainly makes its case for best track.
It isn’t all frenetic guitars either, “Familar” sounds a little like a cut from the Drive soundtrack, while “Sleeper” takes on quiet acoustic reflection. The fantastically titled “McDonald’s (Please Don’t Fuck Up My Order)” is a little more post-rock than the rest of the album. Seven and a half minutes of guitar painted soundscapes that slowly ascends and descends into and out of, “musical neon noir” (actually this song could have been a cut off the Drive soundtrack too). The single “4AM” is Speilbergs at their most urgent; a beautiful mix of melody and buzzsaw guitar chaos. “SK” is a throwaway atmosphere track which is a little unnecessary, but This is Not the End closes with the pretty grand “Forevermore”. A more wistful adventure down shoegaze-y indie rock that provides a good closing to the procession.
This Is Not The End is a moment in time, and that time is now; perfectly noisy, subtly melodic, frenetically composed. The only fear is that the album, the music, the sound, isn’t timeless and we’re all a little blinded by the haze. Whether we look back at this album in ten years and remember it as one of the greats remains to be seen. But that’s something we can talk about in ten years. Take away all the talk and you have an album that demands repeated listens- both enjoyable and rewarding. For now, like this album, the moment is something to savour.