The I Spies sneak into the Horseshoe on Friday (February 1). Rating: NNN
With a charging downstroke staccato guitar riff on opener Talkshow, the I Spies set out to dispel any notion that the local new wavers might be as dull as their debut’s title suggests. You might wonder after the rote Sleepwalkers if the world needs another rethink on the XTC and Squeeze era, but lead singer Johnny Kay exerts undeniable energy on Spare Your Secrets, sliding into a complex vocal bridge before guitarist James Robertson cranks it up with his noodling yayas.
Small Sins’ Thom D’Arcy gives In The Night a songwriting boost with his talent for all things 80s Brit, especially on dramatic keyboard thriller Are You Talking To Yourself Again? Toronto might not need another Union Jack-waving band of skinny-tie mop-tops, but this solidly rendered offering shows that the I Spies deserve to rise above the vanilla crop.