Liverpool-based SPQR pride themselves on their artistic and experimental approach to music and their latest release, No Brain, No Pain, is a fantastic showcase of their distinctive style. Expect the unexpected. Here’s a rundown of the EP.
It took me all of five seconds to be completely mesmerised. Nuthin Gud starts with a twinkly, hypnotic ambience progressing to more rock heavy instrumentation as it unfolds. SPQR explain that it’s about “grappling with your egos: trying to decipher not just which are healthy and which aren’t, but which are true to your core”. Enchanting vocals from the insanely talented Peter Harrison are both sensitive and angsty. It feels like I’ve taken a treacherous journey into Peter’s soul; it’s a thrilling rollercoaster of a ride. Glorious backing vocals take the size and drama of the track to the next level. A brilliant start to the EP.
Moving on to track two, you get a real understanding of just how willing SPQR are to push conventional boundaries. Just Sumfin is entirely different. It’s a funky, stompy, foot-tapper of a tune. I can’t even begin to pin these guys down to a genre. It’s clear that they are receptive to all kinds of inspiration and have no fear in trying new things. The song is packed full of kooky ideas. Bright, shiny piano and fuzzy synth give a cool, psychedelic feel to the track. I read that SPQR are pretty modest. This song title choice would suggest so. It’s not Just Sumfin; it’s a bloody banger.
No Brain, No Pain
There are so many layers to this song. A single listen does not do it justice, so get this on repeat. Light, skippy, electric guitar is the perfect contrast to the low, sultry bass. Smooth harmonies add body and soften the edges, and lead vocals and drums pack an indie rock punch. This track showcases the knowledge, intellect and raw talent of SPQR with attention to detail and creative flair in a class of their own.
The EP comes to a mighty close with Loves Summer. There’s something haunting about it. The steady, sustained pace is chilled, but not at all mellow. There’s a nagging sense of foreboding too. I feel like I’m floating aimlessly around Peter’s soul again. An enthralling end to a captivating record.
I love music! Despite how long it’s been around, we’re still discovering brand new sounds. It’s all thanks to experimental artists like SPQR, who with unbridled passion, boldness and creativity keep that magic alive.
No Brain, No Pain is available to stream now on all major platforms. Go and listen!