Local vocals on upward spiral

“There are no rules – some of it’s my own experience and some of it’s some people I know – I’ll look at their lives and write something of that and a healthy dose of

“There are no rules – some of it’s my own experience and some of it’s some people I know – I’ll look at their lives and write something of that and a healthy dose of fiction,” said Tom Brislin, lead singer and keyboardist of the band Spiraling about his writing.

“Seriously, I used to get in trouble for stuff that was too autobiographical. It would inevitably upset somebody.”

Brislin’s simple yet effective songwriting technique is what draws in the Spiraling’s fans and keeps them coming back for more. Brislin, a New Jersey native, along with drummer Paul Wells, guitarist Marty O’Kane and bassist Bob Hart comprise the keyboard rock band.

The band just finished a short two-week tour with the OK GO in New Jersey.

“One thing that’s pretty cool about [touring] is you develop more of a routine as a musician,” O’Kane said.

Spiraling has toured all over the United States with They Might Be Giants and the Violent Femmes.

Spiraling has no problem drawing a crowd and keeping them interested. From playing audience requests to hanging around after the show to meet fans and answer questions, Spiraling really creates an intimate experience.

“I think it’s safe to say when we’re in the studio we’re pretty studio-centric and when we’re live, we’re pretty live-centric,” Brislin said with a laugh.

This must be true. With the release of their first album, Transmitter, the band has carved out a niche not occupied by many other acts.

The Spiraling has a magnetic power over their audience. With every song they played, the audience moved closer and closer towards the stage in the intimate venue of the North Star Bar on Feb. 4.

Among the masses of bands claiming to be original, the best, or even different from the rest, it’s hard to stand out. Spiraling, however, offers unique and imaginative lyrics coinciding with genius instrumentals and a great live experience, making it hard to not stand above the rest.

Their chemistry on stage is as natural as hooch at a Phish show. Their ability to play off of each other as well as their audience shows how much they care about giving a great live performance.

With influences such as the Beatles, Jason Faulkner, Elvis Costello, Duran Duran and the Monkees, it’s no wonder their eclectic sound doesn’t fit into a single musical genre.

The band’s ridiculously impressive keyboard playing joined with amazing talents on bass, guitar and rhythmic drums creates an undeniable musical experience.

Although they are relatively new to the music scene, Spiraling is making a splash at every venue they play and building a fan base that impatiently waits for their next show.

With this tour over, and another starting up in New York City later this month, Spiraling is turning heads, getting noticed, and creating new fan bases everywhere they play.

“We’re totally independent and we’re curious to see what’s going on with record labels and the whole industry over the next few years, as long as we keep moving in a positive direction.” Brislin said.

Andrea Reich can be reached at areich@temple.edu

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