Same Spells, Different Day
Craft Spells, the lovable quartet of electro-pop mods fronted by Justin Paul Vellestros, bring you Gallery, six deliciously moody anthems to add to their arsenal. Because zero of the four members count Craft Spells as their first band, one could ascertain that this first EP, following their debut album, promises a range of quality songs which showcase their diverse style as musicians – but you know what they say about assuming.
The first song on Gallery is the catchy Smiths-like, “Still Left With Me”, where Vellestros waxes nostalgic about youthful heartbreak. In the following track, “Warmth”, we hear Craft Spells wax nostalgic about youthful heartbreak. Hmmm, there seems to be a pattern here. After listening to the first five tracks on Gallery, the closing title track becomes easy to predict. The stylistic repetition would grate on the nerves if Gallery wasn’t so fluffy and dreamy. A starry-eyed, young loner motif dominates the album; more so than the music itself. When listeners can’t discern one track from the next track from the next, it’s time to re-think the composition formula.
It would be difficult to say that Craft Spells is not good at what they do. In fact, they do the whole mellow-dramatic/hurtful-romantic thing very well. The problem here lies in the fact that Craft Spells are playing to a very particular niche, one which has been oversaturated for decades, and Gallery does nothing to set the boys apart from the pack – nor does it go above and beyond to push the electro-pop envelope. Unless you’re a fan of Vellestros in his other musical manifestations, don’t bother with Gallery.