Cold Specks: I Predict a Graceful Expulsion
Cold Specks, through multiple performances and EP’s has absolutely stunned listeners again and again. Led by Al Spx, Cold Specks is now releasing their first full length album: I Predict a Graceful Expulsion and let’s just say it now: it’s painfully beautiful. I Predict a Graceful Expulsion is a sentimental, soulful, doom and gloom, spiritual struggle. Inspired by blues music so many miles south, Canadian singer/songwriter Al Spx delivers a window into her real life experiences, her actual feelings in an album that isn’t to be taken too lightly –it’s as beautiful as it is real.
Cold Specks is anything but lackluster. Each song off their first album demands your attention, and it’s hard to deny it such. Opening track, “The Mark” sets the tone perfectly. You’re greeted with just a simple guitar melody; you think nothing of it, but then like a candle lit in a dark room, a voice emerges. Layer upon layer of music is laid down, and this candle fire grows. Each song tells a solemn story and summons forth a wealth of emotion. “Winter Solstice,” starts slow, easy, and builds into a thunderous, hymnal, and triumphant piece. The fifth track, “Hector,” gives the listener a new perspective on Cold Specks. One part chill-out, one part gospel, and two parts blues, “Hector” is a labyrinth of musical wonder and zeal.
Here’s the part of the review where the whiny critic complains that something wasn’t done right…. Ready? I’ve got nothing. Cold Specks, and by proxy Al Spx, is still growing as a band. Sure, they’re all great musicians, but I Predict a Graceful Expulsion is only the first LP to come out. No matter how talented or skilled anyone is, it’s not right to go comparing Cold Specks to Janis Joplin or Lightnin’ Hopkins. Nobody knows what Cold Specks is capable of and if this first look isn’t just a fluke, then the world has a startling good, new soul/blues musician on it’s hands. So maybe this all is too kind. What if this is just a one hit wonder? The enjoy it as such. I Predict a Graceful Expulsion is magnificent. Maybe sometimes it feels too simple, or repetitive, or maybe one track is just a filler, but given the overall quality, these issues are minuscule.
If you’re skeptical of all this praise, give Cold Specks a listen. Don’t dismiss I Predict a Graceful Expulsion until you’ve given it all of your attention. Understand, this isn’t some catchy jam band or some artist with a song that will be played on the radio once every hour. It’s not an album that you play again and again. It deserves to be treated more gently than that. Listen until your heart is content, but any more than that and you’ll be beating a dead horse.
MP3: Cold Specks “Hector”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl