Local Review: Spo – Go
Local Music Reviews
Spo = cleopatrick + Spiderbait
Spo is one of, if not the most, eclectic bands I’ve ever listened to, and, coming from a disciple of the musically obscure, that’s saying a lot. This miscellaneous band ranges from Christmas-y carols to Gordon Hayward’s hip injury. That may be a turn-off for some, but the way their musicality forms together to create soothing, anarchist tracks is spectacular.
SLC artist Dave Crespo has been in a multitude of bands since his arrival in Utah in 2018, including Spirit Machines, Scenic Byway, Behind The Sparrows and Pepper Rose. But none are as close to Crespo as his lovechild project, Spo. This band’s revolving door of auxiliary accompaniments has also meant many musicians have joined and left the band over the years, which gives them a sound that is constantly melding and growing. In Crespo’s own words Spo has been “Telling it how it is through all genres of rock since 2014.”
Go is the latest release in Spo’s long discography and is comparatively stripped-down and laid back from anything else they’ve released. Go divulges the tale digging deep inside yourself and enjoying the fun the world has to offer. Recorded in the spring of 2019, members David Crespo (vocals and guitar), Ashley Perry (vocals), Pat Rutchaplee (drums), Zach Novak (bass) and Andy Paulsen (guitar) disbanded shortly after finishing the record. Not for any nefarious reasons, mind you, but rather to honor Go‘s themes of finding fun wherever you can.
Go displays sonic notes of classic funk and groove beats; harsh, punky lyrics and an erratic guitar drone of a Car Seat Headrest + Stiff Little Fingers mashup: it’s wacky, weird and wonderful. The opening track “Yerba Mate” starts off the album perfectly with groovy, disruptive beats and poignant guitar riffs that match Perry’s rap vocals. “I don’t need a lending hand / I need a beer, a shot and a trip on a yacht / I’m sailing away.”
Go gets curiouser and curiouser as you travel further down its setlist. Listeners travel from the nifty lyricism of “Birthday Suit” to the much heavier, percussion-oriented heartbreak ballad “Veronica.” Then, detailing how we often feel better post-breakup, “Hallelujah, Au Revoir, Sayonara Veronica,” croons a chorus of Crespo and Perry. I think my favorite of the album has to be Go’s last song, “Death Name.” It’s enigmatic and entertaining, featuring finely calibrated lyrics paired with a lumbering and alternative solo in the middle of the track that gives the whole thing a “rock on” feeling.
Spo’s last hurrah has no business being this attractive. If you find that, perhaps this album isn’t for you, I’d highly recommend any of Spo’s other eclectic releases. If one thing is for sure, it’s that Spo has something for everyone. –Sage Holt