Much has changed for Spinning Coin since their 2017 debut Permo. First, they both lost a member (Cal Donnelly) and gained a new one (Rachel Taylor). Plus, now half of the originally Glasgow-based quartet is based in Berlin. Not everything has changed, though, as the group sound’s remains determinedly lo-fi and indie-to-the-bone. Largely, it seems, drawing inspiration from the Scottish DIY scene of the early 80s and the American one of the early 90s.
Not to say the band has not evolved since their debut as they have. Sure, there is still more jangly guitar than you can shake a stick at, but here they demonstrate a more mature sound. And one that is inflected with moments of pop and psychedelia. Overall, the record generally leans more into the wispy, dreamy side to their sound.
A lot of which is genuinely delightful, such as Black Cat, a beautiful swooning track made for daydreaming to, which features the main vocal contribution from new girl Taylor. Sometimes the dreaminess can be a little too much, like at the end of Laughing Ways, where the baby-voiced woo-woo-woos, in the song’s finale, seem almost parodically cutesy.
Similarly, some of the experimental moments here work, and some fall flat. Notably so on Ghosting, a catchy track let down by the ludicrously effected vocals co-vocalist Sean Armstrong chooses to employ. These ear-piercing vocals are also used on Get High, although, as they are only scattered on the chorus, it must be said to far less grating effect.
Don’t let any of this mislead you into thinking this is a bad album, far from it. There are a number of decent tracks here. The breezy sugar-rush of lead single Feel You More Than The World Right Now, the sombre more politically-charged Despotic Sway, and the aforementioned Black Cat all proving to be particular highlights.
Not only that, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a record permanently set to wispy. There is a variety of tones at play here. Not to mention the fact they get positively raucous on penultimate track It’s Alright between its screeching guitars and Cobain-esque howls in the chorus.
Despite the odd patience-testing moment and some of the band’s attempt’s to push their sound forward falling flat, Hyacinth is a solid sophomore effort and should further consolidate Spinning Coin’s position as favourites on the Scottish indie scene and beyond.