The Spores

Imagine the Future

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Are they real or are they puppets? The Spores are one of the oddest bands around, a bedroom project gone marionette- turned-live trio, and now with a self-produced album to their name.

Singer/bassist Molly McGuire is the linchpin of the group, who used this project as "a trash disposal for odd songs." And odd Imagine the Future certainly is, a surprisingly (considering McGuire's past work) quirky electro-driven set that's still thoroughly accessible. Take "Heat Seeker" for example, where weapons are used as romantic analogies, and a pounding dance rhythm and sweeping synths are melded to alterna-rock with a metal edge. The title track is even more off-kilter, all swirling atmospheres and shifting time signatures. Time itself shoots backwards for "Love My Mind," a blistering techno number circa 1991, that sounds a bit like Prodigy on crack. "Big Brother" tosses old video arcade sound effects into the middle of a stadium rocker, then shifts into dream pop, while "Yum Yum" boasts drums and a big, fat bass line which obviously has lapped up every single one of the delectable dishes McGuire describes within. As off-center as much of the music is, the lyrics are equally disconcerting, be it comparing oneself to "Veal" or spouting bourgeois sentiments about love, marriage and kids that come over a splintering backing that slips and slides disconcertingly between genres. And then there's "(Don't) Kill Yourself," a song already getting sizeable airplay, and boasting an ethereal chorus recommending suicide to stars, slyly adding "your fans will follow" as added incentive. The number soars and swoops, a dramatic and infectious alterna-pop ditty, that defies one not to singalong.

It's unclear how many McGuire fans will follow the artist through this album's many electro twists and turns, but it's a stunning set, regardless, and seems likely to win her and her band a whole new group of admirers.

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