It was less than a year ago SPC ECO (pronounced Space Echo, a name
that’s part riddle & part publicly-traded stock) released Dark Matter to
ecstatic reviews, and here they are back already with Anomalies. Dean
Garcia, famously of Curve, and singer Rose Berlin, famously of SPC ECO,
are on a creative hot streak. With yet another album scheduled for later
in the year, there’s nothing left for Saint Marie records to do but sit
back and enjoy the ride.
AllMusic called Dark Matter what might have happened if Elizabeth Fraser
had started a side project with members of Massive Attack following the
success of Mezzanine, and we can’t describe SPC ECO’s sound any better
Anomalies continues the parade of alternate-universe pop hits they’ve come
known for, existing somewhere beyond genre, somewhere beyond
understanding. Its beats provide the missing link between trap and
trip-hoptrap-hop? Opener ‘Out of My System’ takes the brisk jog of Abba’s
‘Take a Chance On Me’ and slows it down to a horrific crawla relationship
on its last legs and neither person can find the way out. Silent Maybe
could be on Top 40 radio tomorrow morning, sounding perfectly at home
while destroying your day. Katy Perry, or more specifically Katy Perry’s
people, should send an e-mail. Save her career. Save the world. Not
necessarily in that order.
‘Revived’ is a prom theme (or is it an elegy) for the tundra, all that
white light reflecting off the ice, an unexpected blindness. ‘Your Own
Way’ surfs on a wave of earned optimism, a brief freedom from dread. This
is SPC ECO’s most lustrous, intricately detailed, and beautifully rendered
record to date, endless emotional wreckage as viewed through a veil, a
numbness that draws the listener in. Anomalies aspires to bridge the
distance between us; it’s a desperate attempt at connection by two people
who know deep down that it’s already too late. And so, it wears a mask of
ice. It dresses itself in gauze, even as the blood starts to soak through
at the wrists.
The sharpest father-daughter team since Ryan and Tatum O’Neal in Paper
Moon. And if you’ve never heard of Paper Moon then that must mean SPC ECO
is very sharp indeed.
With Anomalies, Saint Marie continues its assault on the industry.
Tomorrows boutique nostalgia today. Twenty years from now, if people still
make boxsets, maybe Rhino will put out a Children of Shoegaze 4-cd
compilation. If there’s any justice in the world, it will just be Saint
Marie’s catalog, over & over again, in blissful perfection.