Failure is Inevitable: Spray

Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

All the way through lockdown, I’ve been listening to the album Failure is Inevitable by synth-pop duo Spray. The band consists of siblings Jenny Mclaren and Ricardo Autobahn. They’ve been my favourite band for a couple of years, I even own one of their T-shirts which currently for sale on Bandcamp. Below I have written a running commentary on the album, with my opinions on each song. I highly advise you to listen to the album as you read. If you really like it, go ahead and support Spray on Bandcamp.

Here’s One from the New Album: At 1 minute and 13 Seconds, this song is a fantastic introduction to the album. As I sit, with Spray: official prayer book (a booklet that contains all the lyrics to their songs, which came with my T-shirt order) in hand, I’m also ready to hear music from the new album.

Astronomical: I’ve listened to this song at least a hundred times by now. It’s a fun track that you’ll find yourself singing over and over. I can’t say much else other than the fact I know all the words to it and that it’s my cheer-up song.

We Gotta Get Haircuts: What I’ve always loved about Spray is their devotion to creating hilarious titles for their songs. They conclude they must get haircuts to become more appealing to the younger listeners. As a 24-year-old with a dramatic undercut, I definitely feel VERY attacked by this. However, it is my favorite track on the album. So…

Anthologised by Cherry Red: Some of Spray’s songs remind me of close reading when studying Higher English. You need to work out from the context of the text what the author is talking about if you don’t know already. I’m going to hold my hands up and say I had no idea what Cherry Red was or is. I’ve now discovered it’s an independent record label. That’s cool.

Chump (For My Love) : “You’re an Idiot, loving me,” is such a relatable lyric. I always have a good chuckle when listening to this tune. It’s a song you definitely want to sway to. The time signature and instruments make me feel as though I’m in a synthpop medieval tavern of self-conscious people.

Waiting for The Boom: My favourite band before discovering Spray was Pet Shop Boys (I’m a typical gay, what can I say?) and this song gives me serious Pet Shop Boys vibes. That doesn’t surprise me, though. Autobahn is involved in another fun band called Pound Shop Boys and they’re just as cool as they sound.

You Had Me at “Easily Pleased”: This is another relatable song. “I’m gonna settle for you tonight, I suppose that you’ll do,” hits home really hard. Reminds me of the days where we could still go clubbing pre-Covid times.

Futuristic: This song isn’t my favourite. I forget it’s on the album. It’s not awful, just not one I remember very well.

The Interlude: This album has an interlude? Honestly, it’s a pretty beautiful piece of music. It’s very entrancing. Then you realise that Jenny is singing “This is the interlude, oh this is the interlude,” and you wonder if it could be any more perfect.

Bluff It Again: I wouldn’t say it’s groundbreaking. It just didn’t stick with me as much as the others did. The others I’m always prone to cranking up the volume and jamming out or singing along, but I don’t think this one has that kinda vibe to it.

Get a Load of This Guy: Oh MAN where do I start with this one? With the opening line being “He’ll take time to explain mansplaining,” you know you’re in for a treat. When you listen to it, you’ll immediately think of an experience you had on Twitter with a cishet men’s rights activist. Musically it’s fantastic and a lot of fun.

Inexplicable: Funny story: the first time I listened to this song I was trying to introduce Ana (as in Artificial Womb’s Ana) to the duo and we went to a car wash. I’d never been through one before. We were just watching the water like we were high, in a sort of giddy post-lockdown state, laughing and taking little videos. It’s a nice memory. The song itself is quite guitar-y, compared to the other songs, but still a bop.

Big Karma: I’m really struggling to write something for this song and I’m not sure why. It’s a bit of a sensory overload.

Defenseless: Honestly, the introduction made me feel like the song was about to turn into Pet Shop Boys’ version of “Always on my mind.” It’s a nice tune but you can tell we’re getting to that point on the album where they’ve run out of the REALLY good songs.

Flim Flam: I’ve never heard a song that includes the phrase “Flim Flam”, but there is a first for everything.

I Wonder Where the Wonder Goes: Nice end to the album. Now to replay it…

Words: Genevieve Bertagnolli
Image: Spray

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