The Spook School: Try To Be Hopeful (Fortuna POP!)

I doubt if even one of the members of The Spook School was born when the C86 scene had its summer in the sun, but it's the lo-fi pop-punk attack of those NME-favoured bands - among them the Scots quartet of Primal Scream, The Soup Dragons, The Pastels and The Shop Assistants - which provides this startlingly good Edinburgh four-piece with their musical template. As was the case with their 2013 debut album, Dress Up, it's impossible not to like. But in a sense it's simply a means to an end: what really gives the band its urgency and cheering freshness is a world-view in which gender and sexuality are gloriously fluid. “Let it be complicated and hard to understand,” sings trans vocalist Nye Todd on Binary, before the song descends into the arms-in-the-air refrain:“I am bigger than a hexidecimal”. Burn Masculinity and Speak When You're Spoken To are equally uncompromising, but like everything else they're also generously salted with humour and not a little tenderness. Great stuff. If this doesn't make the SAY Award shortlist, there's no justice.