EP REVIEW: Dear Diary by Spyres
Fuelled by bubbling angst and fuzzy guitars, Spyres are one of the best rock bands to come from Scotland in recent years. No, we're not exaggerating. The indie fast-risers have just dropped their debut EP, Dear Diary via LAB Records and it's a four-track collection of nostalgic strums and blazing alt-rock belters.
We've been keeping an eye on Spyres since 2020 (back when Rock Coven was new-born baby) as they stole our attention with singles like Fake ID and I Don't Care. Spyres lured us in with their irresistible indie-rock bangers with relatable charm, and we haven't been been able to escape since.
Flashforward to 2022 and the four-piece have released recent singles See Through You, Honestly, and Lost Without You in the lead-up to their highly anticipated EP release. Dear Diary represents the emotionally intensity of youth, relationships, and growing up.
Recorded by co-producers double Platinum certified producer Christopher Marshall (Gerry Cinnamon, Declan Welsh & The Decadent West, Dead Pony) and Baby Strange frontman Johnny Madden, Dear Diary sees Spyres polish their nostalgic-yet-refreshing sound.
On the release of Dear Diary, Spyres have said, "This EP is really special to us. It has some of our best new songs on it and some familiar favourites from over the years. Dear Diary captures all the angsty teenage feelings and drama that we all experience through life’s course. As we started the band when we were only 15/16 a lot of the songs on the EP have relevance to what it was like for us to basically grow up in the band together. we have had the time reflect and write the songs to our younger selves. The EP rounds up our teenage years as we are moving into our twenties and going through new life experiences.”
Opening the EP with glistening guitar strokes and dual harmonies from Emily Downie and Kiera McGuirein, Spyres flaunt their songwriting talents as they perfectly capture key moments of adolescence with Lost Without You. The track is about the dynamic shift of your best friend getting a new partner, and the feelings of neglect and confusion it causes in the relationship. Spyres explain the track, saying "this friendship will last a lifetime, probably much longer than the relationship that has caused this disruption. All the friend feeling left behind wants is for their friend to recognise that fact before they get caught up".
The EP continues this trend of dissecting relationship complexities with Honestly, which pairs a belting chorus of bursting guitar lines and glistening cymbal crashes. The band say, "We think a lot of people can relate to Honestly in many ways. It describes the downfall of a relationship and the feelings that go hand in hand, even recalling memories shared together whether they were good or bad. However, it was always too good to be true and finally time to let go."
Heavy-hitter Test is undoubtedly a Coven favourite, with its gritty vocals and snarling bassline. Test sees Spyres flawlessly flow from 00's indie nostalgia to furious alt-rock with admirable ease. Closing the EP is Hated You First, which delivers mesmerising vocals on a soaring chorus backed by shimmering guitar riffs and driving drum beats - a prime example of how Spyres combine intimate storytelling with polished indie-rock.
Dear Diary showcases Spyres songwriting prowess as they weave through teenage angst and coming of age narratives to a soundtrack of 00's-tinged rock while flirting with breezy indie and face-melting punk fury.
Along with the EP, Spyres have announced new tour dates for 2022 too. Taking place in October, this 7-date run will be their first UK headline tour, and not one to miss if you saw them support Canadian grunge duo Softcult and Isle of Wight slacker rock queen Lauran Hibberd!
October tour dates: 7th Aberdeen, Cafe Drummonds
9th Dundee, Hunter S Thompson
11th Leeds, Oporto
13th Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
14th London, The Courtyard Theatre
15th Southampton, Suburbia
Tickets are available here
Review by Chloe Robbins