03 May 2012

The Superspecs

So I was at work today, when I decided to listen to a little band that I used to go and see all the time in college.

The band is called The Superspecs.  Also, The Specs, and finally The Laysan Rail (although I don't have any of their final version's music).

Enjoy a little bit of their awesome before I continue.

This video does not do them justice.

So, a bit of my history with the band.

As with many things I experienced in college, I came to know The Specs through my roommate Chris.  I don't remember if I first heard their music in our dorm, or when I first saw them at the Webster Theater, but I was hooked from the first note.

Their sound is a bit...eclectic, and changed with each of their albums.  As The Superspecs, they were a 9(?) piece ska group.  This is the sound heard most prominently on their first album Project H.A.N.D.S.O.F.F.  The best track off this album was 'Listen Up'. (Which the re-did for their second album)  Also of note is 'Dr. Evil Ska' and 'Freak'.

After this they went to six members.  Album title: Burning the Bandwagon.  Consisting of a drummer, two guitars, trumpet player, barri sax (backing vocals also) and trombone (lead singer also), they progressed to their eventual final sound of 'horn driven rock'.  Still mixing ska with the rock, they melted my face with tracks such as 'More Emo than Thou', 'Listen Up', 'Take Me Down' and 'Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)'.  That's right kids, they do covers.

Finally we move to their final iteration, The Specs.  Same members, new sound.  This is where they finally move into the full 'horn driven rock' sound that I mentioned above.  Declaration of Independence do be the title of the album.   The album as a whole is fantastic. 'Dorothy Never Had it So Bad', 'Straight Up' (another cover), and 'Target of my Animosity'  are three of my favorites on this album.

Two of my fondest memories of The Specs include the night my wife and I saw them at the Webster Theater and I was able to 'sing' along with one of the songs into the mic.  I think it was Target of my Animosity.

The other moment is when we had them play at our college, and then they came to our dorm and partied.  Most awkward moment of college:  when one of their songs came over Chris's speakers.  Never had I seen people move so fast to change a song.

Its a shame the band broke up and moved on.  They were a fantastic band with great energy and a unique sound.  Whenever one of their songs comes on, it brings a smile to my face, and I usually go and listen to the whole album.  If you ever have the chance to experience their music, I recommend it.  You won't be disappointed.


  1. That post is "Straight Up" awesome! You just randomly decided to write about them?

    1. I see what you did there.

      Fairly randomly. My iPod was on shuffle the other day and one of their songs came up. I went and listened to all their music and as I did, just starting thinking about all the awesome times that included them and felt like getting those thoughts down on paper...so to speak.