The Spook School: Could It Be Different? (Slumberland/Alcopop!) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

The Spook School

Could It Be Different?


Jan 24, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

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On their third full-length LP, The Spook School continue to deal in optimistic ambiguity and unashamedly goofy queer indie pop. Only now, there's noticeably less snarl in the tone of the songs.

Queer, trans, left wing, and unashamedly optimistic, The Spook School write from a place of almost default opposition. Yet, Could It Be Different? showcases a band that are above victimisation and aggressionhere, the band tell tales of abuse and alienation with a self-assurance that transforms dark subject matters into infectious indie pop numbers.

Three albums in, you get the sense that The Spook School know people are listening to them. In particular, vulnerable LGBTQ+ youth. There's a nuance about the way the band write. On Could It Be Different? the narrative tends to be much more "we are heroes" and "they are bastards." Even on the album's spikier moments, such as opener "Still Alive," the takeaway message is certainly one of self-empowerment. Sonically, Could It Be Different? isn't, and that's okay. The Spook School have developed a brand of Postcard Records-indebted indie pop that complements their ethos perfectly, and it's a sound that seems to maintain its infectiousness after each release.

It's been said that those in the LGBTQ+ community sometimes have two adolescences, because the first one is often marred by antagonisation and isolation. The Spook School continue to turn dark subject matters into the perfect soundtrack to that second adolescence (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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