Lightbox is Spiro’s first album for Real World Records – an extraordinarily stirring record. Recorded over four days at Real World Studios in Box and partly by Simon Emmerson (the chief architect behind the Afro Celt Sound System and The Imagined Village projects), it showcases a highly imaginative and highly disciplined group with a sound that’s unified but never uniform. All four members, all four instruments, pull in the same direction, creating music that’s intricate yet so full of momentum. These are hurrying, scurrying soundscapes that sweep majestically with cinematic presence, echoing – at various points – the work of Steve Reich, Michael Nyman and the Penguin Café Orchestra. But, kindred spirits aside, this is the music of Spiro – undeniably English, undeniably theirs.
…The Bristol Band are imbued in the culture of informal sessions and you assume this is another album of dance tunes with a strong English feel. But within the fiddle/mandolin/guitar/accordian framework rhythms go haywire, tunes somersault and the sound adopts darker, edgier twists. Refreshingly unnerving.
Melodically Inventive and Emotionally Compelling
…Intense and minimal, they roll out complex arrangements with such ease that you feel your heart lift a few inches above its normal resting place….Melodically inventive and emotionally compelling, this is a fantastic record.
The Word (UK)