Although the Richmond, VA-based quintet Spooky Cool, comprised of founding members Zac Hryciak (guitar, vocals), Lee Spratley (drums) and Sean Williams (bass) along with Paula Lavalle (vocals) and Zavi Harman (lead guitar) officially formed in 2015, the band can actually trace their origins to much earlier — to its founding trio collaborating in a number of various locally-based projects for over a decade, before starting Spooky Cool as a way to bring together wildly contrasting musical sensibilities in a way, which was unfamiliar, yet intelligible. While their material thematically pivots on annihilation of some form or another, whether it’s the male ego or biblical notions of the apocalypse among others but according to the band, they manage to do so with a wry, comical sensibility — or as the band says, essentially they strive to mix the mundane with the extraordinary.
Sonically, the band says that they aim at sustaining a tradition of ornate, intricate musical composition that’s seen in the works of The Beach Boys, Deerhoof, Tchaikovksy and Sibelius, mixed with metal — in particular, the band Fuzz. And as you’ll hear on “Black Wine,” the band’s sound to my ears meshes elements of prog rock, psych pop, math rock and doom metal as the song pairs boy vs. girl pop melodicism with furious tonal and time signature shifts, tightly syncopated drum patterns, blistering and abrasive feedback and power chord-based guitar work with soaring, arena rock meets radio friendly hooks in a way that manages to be wildly inventive and heady but underpinned by a mischievous, “let’s thrown it on the wall and see what happens” sort of experimentation.
Check out this live footage of the band playing “Black Wine” in an appropriately abandoned and gratified building shot by Good Day RVA.
The band will be embarking on an East Coast tour, and it’ll include a January 28, 2018 stop at Secret Project Robot. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.
01/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ P H Â R M Â C Y
01/24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Ortlieb’s
01/25 – Allston, MA @ O’Brien’s Pub
01/26 – Boston MA @ The Barricade
01/27 – Newark, DE @Homegrown Cafe
01/28 – New York, NY @ Secret Project Robot
02/15 – Greensboro, NC @ TBA
02/16 – Raleigh, NC @ Wicked Witch
02/17 – Asheville, NC @ Odditorium
02/18 – Athens, GA @ Pitbull Manor
02/19 – Atlanta, GA @ 529
02/20 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement East
02/22 – Nashville, TN @ The Crying Wolf
02/23 – Charlottesville, VA @ Trash House
02/24 – Norfolk, VA @ Toast
02/25 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat