Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording by Ian Harris, Video By Jake Lyle, Words by Landon Kuhlmann
The Spook School are an indie punk band from Scotland. Their music is a joyful celebration but also a damning condemnation of the world today. Their music covers topics related to queer, transgender, and other marginalized peoples. There is a combination of self-assuredness and self-discovery: knowing that you have things to figure out about yourself while rejecting the people who don't accept you for who you are during that process. And despite many of the songs dealing with society's B.S., there is a youthful energy and positivity in the music.
The songs are fast, driven by classic punk guitar and drums that sound like Joy Division on speed. Sometimes a sporadic guitar solo will break out but the band is far from relying on rock conventions to get their point across. The vocals are one of the most distinctive parts of the group, with different members singing different songs and contributing gang vocals when someone else takes the lead. Some of this band reminds me of early Los Campesinos! records, except this band has a way more important message.
The body is a strange thing. Sometimes it freaks us out, sometimes it lets us down. Either way, it is the only body we get, and understanding our relationships with it is important. And if you don't have it figured out, that's okay. Bands like The Spook School remind people that they're not alone in their struggles, and gives them tools to fight back at the bigoted ass-hats still spewing transphobic garbage. We're alive, we're here, and these are our bodies.
This group has been making waves recently, and they're definitely someone to keep your eye on in the future. Their new album was released in January to high acclaim, and they're currently on a U.S. tour supporting Diet Cig.
The Spook School Session