The Great Spy Experiment – Litmus
Text: Sherman Yang
After a six year hiatus, The Great Spy Experiment has returned with their sophomore album Litmus packed with stunning instrumental interludes.
‘The Lights’ starts off well with the band in full force but dwindles down once the lacklustre vocals kick in. Similarly with ‘Nameless’ which kicks off with strong guitar runs; however, the song quickly falls flat.
The mellow, slow vocals tend to wear the listener out and the songs start to sound overly similar over time. It is not until the last few songs that the energy levels in the vocals pick up.
‘Crystal’ is a much more energetic but angst-ridden track compared to the rest of the album. It is befitting that the lyrics go “won’t you come and hear me out” because this is one track we would not mind listening to again.
‘Helsinki’ closes the album in a grand fashion leaving you on an emotional high and wanting more. A perfect way to end their sophomore album, the track while consisting of simple lyrics, manages to stun listeners with the brilliant production and instrumentation. The track gives a sense of grandeur although stretching it for eight and a half minutes might have been a bit of overkill.
On the whole, the album is made up of well-written tracks, despite several songs lacking in a vocal punch. However, despite most of the songs exceeding the five-minute mark -- making the album running a little too long -- the songs on Litmus boast of interesting and sometimes beautiful instrumental interludes.
Recommended tracks: Crystal, Helsinki, A Way Away