A debut album should do at least one of the following things: set an artist’s stall out for what is yet to come, be a natural continuation of what has come before in the form of singles and EPs, or come from seemingly nowhere and be considered an instant classic.
For SPIELBERGS, their debut full length THIS IS NOT THE END is a combination of all three. The Oslo trio had a fairly magnificent 2018, which has been rewarded with a slot at 2000 Trees Festival this summer, and these dozen tracks are proof that their addition to cult festivals like 2000 Trees is no fast-track or purely for stage-filling purposes. The guitars are multi-dimensional, the drums are commanding, the vocals are atmospheric.
Coming less than a year after the five-track Distant Star EP, This is Not the End is an accumulation of in-your-face yet calmly reserved alt rock hits, such as the ever-progressing Bad Friend. Doused in typically-somewhere-between-pop-punk-and-MTV-Rocks, it is an anthemic piece that will only ever become more likeable.
The likability of Spielbergs is rife throughout – perhaps subliminally due to the relatable-ish tracks titles ranging from the optimistic, such as McDonald’s (Please Don’t Fuck Up My Order), to the bluntly-grim-yet-obvious We Are All Going To Die. The fore-mentioned is a particularly beautiful 7 minute atmospheric track that could easily soundtrack a cliché driving scene.
As a whole it is clear to see why with This is Not the End, Spielbergs have been given the platforms of festival slots and headline shows. Whilst admittedly it is nothing new – they are aware that they do not need to be. There is no overly flamboyance, nor is there anything to suggest that what Spielbergs are doing has not been done before. What this album does, though, is give the Oslo outfit an opportunity to show the world that what they are doing is being done well.
Refreshingly they are not boasting about being trailblazers or coating their impressive-music with an arrogance that can leave a bitter taste.