Cold Specks - Neuroplasticity

Released August 26, 2014

By Gloss Tatum

Neuroplasticity is the name of the album, but not the name of any track on this latest release from Al Spx aka Cold Specks. The title is left open for interpretation in between smoky soul caressing vocals and lyrics that salute the struggles that come with growing up from the Montreal based musician. This collection of songs sways between hopeful reflections and darker enticing sounds, specifically in the song Exit Plan, which is a pretty bang on way to say, “Here, this is what I think about life.” Having spent some of her time living in London, England, one can understand this artists’ uncanny ability to throw soulful rock music together with a wide variety of instruments, notably the trumpet (played by Ambrose Akinmusire; check out A Season of Doubt to take in his talent), and epic chorus drum beats.

This aspect of the music is something not so skillfully maneuvered by many North American artists. One of the singles off the album, Bodies At Bay, is the new anthem for any person who has never come back from a “bad trip.” They can rejoice as they heal their wounds while listening to this record. A Broken Memory, Formal Invitation, and Old Knives draw on some serious 60’s influences that are capital C Cool as these songs are both alluring and fresh. One of the only other voices that could carry songs like these was Jim Morrison, but Al more than fits the bill and proves her voice is a force to be reckoned with in Canadian music. For the most part, this album seems to be an upbeat documentation of going mad while understanding a sense of self and purpose. There are sounds pulled from many sub genres of rock that are constructed together in a massive yet smooth way that makes it both awesome and impressive. You have to have a very rich and strong soul to make songs like these believable, and Cold Specks delivered.