The Spook School: Dress Up (Fortuna Pop) - album review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #48 - November/December 2013 - HAIMThe Spook School

Dress Up

Fortuna Pop

Nov 21, 2013 The Spook School Bookmark and Share

Edinburgh four-piece The Spook School take their name from a group of Scottish artists whose work was ridiculed for being too dark and gothic. Fortunately, anyone who checks the reference and expects gloom will be sorely disappointedDress Up is more Buzzcocks than Bauhaus, 13 tracks of infectious indie pop.

From the opening guitar stabs of “Are You Who You Think You Are?,” the pace is unrelenting, with the sheer fun of the music underpinned with the fairly serious issue of gender and identitythe title Dress Up is partly inspired by vocalist/guitarist Nye Todd, who identifies as transgender.

But that doesn’t mean that there is all that much soul-gazing going on here. “I’ll Be Honest”which is about pouring your insecurities out to someone who has had too many drinks to remember itis straight up noisy, shouty pop rock. Likewise “I Don’t Know,” with its refrain, “I just don’t know how to talk to you,” has punk guitars, under-polished vocals, and a climax that begs for sweaty bodies to jump around to it.

There are tender moments, too. Bassist Anna Corey sings on both “Devil of Mine” and “Something,” which have acoustic guitars and are startlingly intimate compared to the other tracks on show here.

Dress Up is something rare in a rock recordit has virtually no pretense, just a nervous young energy and bags of infectious riffs to go with it. (

Author rating: 8/10

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