The new class of Aussie Indie has had a ramshackle scruff to it that’s always been it’s greatest charm. The loose-knit, member-swapping nature of many of the bands lends a hand, but more often than not it’s the lack of stakes that makes for the best indie pop out of the South Hemi. Few bands capture this feeling as well as Spice World. Their debut feels like a dog-eared book passed between housemates — rough-edged, but comforting, and occasionally full of a kernel or two of wisdom. It’s the kind of record that stumbles into brilliance because it’s never spends its’ energy trying hard to impress its audience, but rather it entertains its members. The songs were written between roommates, refined when time allowed, and recorded in a 5-hour gush when one member returned home on holiday. There’s an air of looseness that feels like unwinding, and occasionally, unburdening.
Between snatches of sing-along choruses and house party strums, there are songs that come so effortlessly it disguises their heft. Centerpiece “Mountain Pony 20,” picks at the listener’s lonesomeness like a scab. Its unfussed ambience curls into the air like smoke. The best of the band’s songs reek of second-hand couch, their prickling hooks lost in the fibers of polyester carpets. As the record winds its way deeper the band doesn’t cut as close to the bone as “MP20″, but the rest of the lot can’t help but capture a quiver of unmoored itchiness. The band scuffs and stains the listener with their melancholy, stuffing There’s No “I” in Spice World with songs that sigh behind their smiles but never teeter into tears. Ultimately, the warmth between the bandmates radiates through, finding the perfect balance between buoyant and bittersweet.
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