Spinning Coin – Permo

Spinning Coin are a Glaswegian group who more than live up to their namesake. Their style of chilled ambient indie is simultaneously met with the grit and gristle of an almost punk-like persona, formulating a collective which is definitely different to say the least. Permo is the group’s debut and comes from the intriguing minds of frontmen Sean Armstrong and Jack Mellin.

You don’t have to get far into this record to see its catch, the opening track ‘Raining On Hope Street’ at first sends the listen into a dream-like state, captivating a far more chilled sound which works remarkably well with Sean’s vocals. However the following, ‘Tin’, is far more of a roughly shaped piece of DIY indie which literally flips the band’s sound upside down, like the flip side of a… coin. The rougher sound places far more of an emphasis on stronger guitar solos and fuzziness. This interesting dichotomy which they toy around with becomes their catch and is certainly something I think few would be able to pull off this well.

Perhaps the most appropriate way to cover this album is not to compare the drastically split sounds, but take them both as equal parts of the same whole. Sean’s more ambient sound is definitely something that will hold great appeal for fans of bands such as Gengahr and even the Tame Impala crew. ‘Floating With You’ perhaps acts as a pinnacle of the entire record as the exploration we take with Sean’s delicately high notes and transient vibes really does export you to another realm which is calm, peaceful and intricately melodic.

Meanwhile, Jack’s rougher sound holds the stark contrast which allows the album’s sound to thrive. His style injects a far more punchy spark which is the needed kick that stops the album becoming a blending, droll listen. The added flare does work well and, whilst the two sounds are not something that you’d typically see together, in this incidence, they do complement one another in some bizarre fashion. ‘Magdalene’ holds a terrific stress on old school rock ‘n’ roll through the unfurnished feel and coarse, hushed vocals before breaking into possibly the best solo work on the album: the sudden transition into a frenzy of riff and sound is a delightful and unique way to express the chaotic side on an otherwise relaxing listen.

Perhaps the gimmick of alternating each track with contrasting sounds does get a little overkill at times and to make the album 14 tracks long in order to achieve this is definitely too much. I feel that this band’s success will be fronted by Sean’s dreamy sound and that is something they should be considering to pursue at their forefront and, whilst Jack’s classic rock ‘n’ roll tones are definitely needed to keep this band feeling fresh amongst the crowds, I feel the album could be condensed in order to get a real feel as to who this band are.

Nonetheless, Permo is a terrific introduction to Spinning Coin; it is incredibly refreshing to discover bands who won’t adhere to musical norms and in that respect, Permo definitely delivers. I can see Spinning Coin’s sound being very much like Marmite to many, you’ll love one of the styles and congregate to the tracks which stress that. However, this album has effectively doubled its market by including drastically different styles and having the potential to bring people together from all different walks of life. The heart of music still remains about bringing people together and in that case, Spinning Coin have achieved this better than any band this year.

Ben Walker

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