The phrase ‘going on a journey’ is a term often chucked into a review, discussion or analytical assessment on various cultural creations, from films to books to, of course, albums. I was sincerely trying to avoid this perilous trap but I found myself falling into it with wanton abandon after the fourth or fifth listen to Spectres’ Family EP, a romping, rollicking divebomb into roaring alt rock territory. Spectres are a quartet from Bristol signed to Howling Owl Records, making enough of a racket to get noticed by Rory Attwell, of Test Icicles, Kasms and, now, Warm Brains, who threw in his chips and produced this latest effort.

Now, the journey part is less of the definite, concept album sort, where we learn about some pinball wizard or the rise and fall of a drug lord. Moreso, the sound, feel and underlying grit of the five tracks appear to be laid out in a certain, evolving fashion. It’s best to explain it as the slow sanding of a coarse, splinter-inducing bulk of wood into a refined, well-varnished coffee table. Opening track ‘Surrogate Mother’ crashes and caterwauls through about a minute of rough and tumble rawk (apologies for the deliberate misspelling). It’s an untouched musical id, all noise, riffs, bangs, booms and release. A complete battering of something unrefined and uncontrolled. Then the grind begins, with Attwell seemingly acting as a guiding, and containing, force to the noise within until the middle of the EP resembling a sort of Vines ramble through heavy riffs and cumbersome vocal snarls.

‘Animal Heart’, the penultimate song, actually begins with a calm plateau of low-key rolling resound, the first moment of something resembling quietude since the very beginning. There are hints of My Bloody Valentine in the loose structure that shifts from the hushed, almost reverential tranquillity to the fragile drone, sounding like a patchwork bit of sonic carpentry that teeters so close to collapse, imminent with one swift swing of luck. The distortion that trails such an uninhibited method fuels the band with the backdrop to build their mind-splitting Sonic Youth bellowings.

Finally, we reach the end with ‘Black Brothers’. After cautiously, carefully and casually dragging themselves through four minutes of steady sonic smog, Spectres decide to ditch the drone for the dark by barrelling into some guitar noodling and a dusky din of destruction, deteriorating suddenly only a minute later. A moment to catch your breath before the track picks itself out of the dust, brushes itself down and winds down to a diminishing horizon. Here is the final product, crafted, varnished, painted, packaged and ready to go, with Spectres taking several minutes to make their final, furnished point. It’s shoegaze gloom, hell yes. But take in that journey, from the big bang of babble to the black hole that absorbs, emits and burns at the expiration.