Rose Berlin – Vocals and Lyrics
Dean Garcia – Bass Drums Guitars Keys FX and Programming
Jarek Leskiewicz – Guitars Drones and FX 1/4/5/6/7/8/10/12/15
Monti – Drums Noise Loops FX /10/13
Wombbaby – Special FX /15
1. Fading Out Of Time
2. Teach Yourself
3. That’s It Well Done
5. Out In The Cold
6. The Heart And Soul
8. Melancholia Mania
10. Left Out
11. In Silence
12. Gloria Sudafed
13. Never Can Know
14. The Reason Why
15. Little Ones Out Of Time Mix
On first listen I like this album, as you’d expect from having Dean Garcia in the band it does sound a bit like Curve but this is infused with a dreamy trip hop feel, a la Portishead. The overall effect feels watery! I was on my exercise bike when I had the feeling I was spinning in a breathable liquid called TFV. I felt as if I was drowning and disorientated but eventually I got used to what I was hearing! Rose Berlin’s vocal style fits in with this vibe due to the girlish ethereal quality of the delivery!! It reminds me of girls I have known in my youth who’d sing along to some thought in their head in a stream of conscious style totally oblivious to the world around them.
The first track Fading out of Time has a simple but thick bass that counters the honeyed delivery of the vocals whilst Teach Yourself feels a bit moody and tense underpinned with an apprehensive but groovy bass. That’s it well done, I really like!! It’s 6 minutes and 44 seconds of pure absorption. It’s very trippy, and I needed no enhancements, if you know what I mean?? The title track Fifteen starts with the line ”She was only 15 years old” and drifts off somewhere incomprehensible but it doesn’t matter because the voice just becomes another instrument of sound that conveys an overall vibe and feeling, just like Liz Fraser’s vocal styling in The Cocteau Twins.
Out In The Cold is heavily bass rich as is the vocal!! There’s that breathing liquid feeling again!! Simply played but textured and layered with atmosphere!! And then we have Breathing. Starting off with a keyboard flourish that morphs into the Boom Bah Boom of the drums in a regulated pattern, and with a droning continuous note playing in the background to give a spectral veneer. Gloria Sudafed is very Cocteau Twins at the beginning with bells tolling all the way through!!
To summarise I’d say that this is not a bad album at all, I just had to strain occasionally to pick out the lyrics. But I like to listen to a lot of music that is dreamy and ethereal so the lyric issue was not too much of an issue. The overall feel here is more important, it’s impressionistic, get that and you can fill in the gaps. I’ve not listened to much SPC Eco since the album Dark Matter, but Fifteen has fired up my interest in exploring their output again!!
Reviewed by Claudia Black