Wild Spelks is in essence the solo project of producer, songwriter, and musician Jonathon Sabiston.

The name comes from the pangs of anxiety that dig into Jonathon like a splinter whenever he is feeling panicked, “spelks” is local Newcastle dialect for a splinter, with the “wild” prefix defining the sheer out-of-the-blue timing of the attacks. Wild Spelks release their debut five track extended play `A House Full of Strangers` this month, having released several singles over the last couple of years.

`They`re Gonna Get You` leads us in and is a fast-paced riff-tinged melodic outing with lyrics that are riddled with fear and paranoia. I`m sure the lyrics will ring home with many who have similar anxieties but despite the honest lyrical approach, it`s a number that will have you tapping your foot and singing along with the title`s strapline. I loved the brief addition of a glockenspiel in the dying embers of this number. There`s a further thoughtful composition with `Help Myself` which is a reflection on substance abuse and the catastrophic effects it can have on relationships and friendship.

`Happy & Healthy` is delightfully bass driven and becomes fairly anthemic as it evolves with some enticing tambourine percussion, a track that slows down and speeds up on route but always retains your attention.

I found that `Take It from A Friend` really drew me in, not only lyrically but musically. The lyrics appear to relate to depression and the support that only a loyal friend can give you in troubled times. There was a thumping almost guiding drum beat at the songs heart with guitar riffs that gave it a quite expansive feel and in the last sixty seconds or so trumpets entered and added a further poignancy to this opus.

This five tracker closes out with `Getting The Band Back Together Again` a final amusing feel good number about the pleasures and pains of a working band and all it entails. The addition of bigfatbig frontwoman Robyn Walker on guest vocal was a stroke of genius as both sets of vocals really complement each other.

`A House Full of Strangers` is choked full of alluring melodic earworms and running at under twenty minutes in length will not consume much of your time but will reward you richly.

Wild Spelks for me seem to be the Northeast`s answer to melodic power pop bands such as Weezer, Wheatus and Feeder.

This EP will leave you will that feel good factor despite the subtle honesty of the lyrical content.

`A House Full of Strangers` that includes Wild Spelks is something to be encouraged as the Irish poet, dramatist and writer W B Yeats said strangers are only friends that you haven`t met yet.

Rating 8.5 / 10

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