The Spires

Curved Space

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The Spires come a few steps closer to perfecting their brand of luxuriously spaced-out pop on this EP. Curved Space finds the Spires easing up on their obsession with the Velvet Underground just a bit, but their affection for classic Kiwi pop is as strong as ever, and the thick bed of Jason Bays' guitars is as rich as butterscotch, as cool as peppermint, and every bit as satisfying as either. This music leans to pop rather than rock, but there's a shoegazey undertow in numbers like "Today Was Tomorrow," "Kent Studies," and the title song that gives the songs a greater force and velocity than on the Spires' earlier recordings. Bays is the star of this show, but drummer Colleen Coffey and bassist Catelyn Kindred offer superb support, providing a rock-solid framework for his melodic structures and adding some fine harmonies on a few tunes. And the band's studiocraft is improving, subtly but clearly, and while the production doesn't call attention to itself, it suits the sounds of the Spires just right. Perhaps the Spires are best off working in shorter forms; while A Way of Seeing had its virtues but started to wear out its welcome before it drew to a close, the seven songs on Curved Space are uniformly splendid and these 23 minutes leave the listener wanting more.

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