Spearside – “Not Up to Much”


Irish trio Spearside conjure an anthemic rock pull on “Not Up to Much,” concluding a successful trilogy of singles that have earned airplay on BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 1. Clearly on the ascent, Spearside further confirm their hooky, peppy rock and power-pop smarts with “Not Up to Much” — taking particular inspiration from Brendan Benson.

Lyrically portraying one’s “descent into nihilism,” the track’s darker edges are contrasted by a punchy, bright array of guitars with punk and power-pop influence. Fuzzy guitars complement vocals admitting they’re “on the edge again, looking for a means to an end.” A jangly, crisper guitar presence in the verses gears up cohesively into the more raucously invigorating chorus. Sweltering, psych-friendly guitar glistening and illuminated organs enamor in the second half, bringing this stellar rocker to satisfying close.

Guitarist and singer Oisín Walsh expands on the track:

“When the musical backdrop is major key and up-beat, it can offer some extra license to explore darker lyrics without the song feeling too laborious. “Not Up to Much” is about someone revelling in their descent into nihilism. I tend not to write with a conscious lyrical idea or theme in mind so after I wrote the song it took a long time for me to realise how sinister “Not Up to Much” really is.”
“The character in the lyrics takes the tragedy of their life, their apathy, their social isolation, and uses it as an excuse to give up, blame others, and crack a wry smile while they do it. The meaning of the song is all in the last two lines, when the character ironically says, ‘I don’t care because no one does, looks like I’m just not up to much’.”

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of April 2023’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup. The submitter accepted our content-based offer, which included financial compensation for our time writing, editing, and publishing this article.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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