"Rise" by Spiral CityReview
I am fairly sure that I've never before had the opportunity to tell you about a (female) boxer's story told in song, so with this review of the current Spiral City single "Rise", I can put that right. One much appreciated aspect of reviewing right now is the diversity not only of sounds but also stories being told: most (including this one), tales I'd not predict myself.
Produced and mixed by Matt Cotterill at 300 Acre Studios, this is one of those moody-toned songs which builds inexorably musically: presumably to parallel the theme of the lyrics which, as the title signals, are about rising to challenges, personal growth & generally forwards & upwards life momentum, with references also to overcoming fears around change (a lot of the hurdles perceived for the boxer are internal "demons"): all very positive & affirming messages.
Looking back over previous writing about the musicians (Louie Forde, Harvey James, Tom White & Jack Waterfield) & producer, the way the dynamics are handled reflects what I've spotted before: these are masters of those arts. I think where particular new ground is being broken here lies firstly in the originality of the narrative and secondly in the detail of the sounds: several of which struck my ears noticeably. One is a very distinctive guitar sound which has clearly been very precisely selected & calibrated (combined with the playing technique, which includes harmonics, we get an interesting bell tone which possibly is there to evoke the ringing of the boxing bell and conceivably also meditation ones, given the Zen associated ideas at play: if both, then it's really quite clever isn't it?). The drums appear processed in such a way as to complement this and the final innovation (though sadly a brief one) is an unusual bass sound which merges into the fore-mentioned to accentuate it all, but which I really only heard distinctly during the fuller, louder passages: not that that's a negative criticism: the instrumental drop-outs are integral to the meaning of the song & personally subtle touches you only pick up on after a few plays add to the pleasures of listening.
It's tempting to conclude with a wish to link the title of the Spiral City single to their profile & fortunes, so please do consider that done.
There is a very good video to accompany "Rise", shot in Bedworth and Kenilworth by Glasslife, which you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKHv-Uu8oCI and which features Coventry boxer Jess Barry giving visual reinforcement to the story being sung.