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Spook School breaks genres, gender lines in high-energy sounds

The Spook School doesn’t define itself by genres or genders.

Helmed by vocalist Nye Todd, who identifies as transgender, the Edinburgh quartet has injected its bouncy, indie-pop vocals with more weighty gender identity issues.

The band’s newest album, “Dress Up,” is a nod to the band’s fluid sexuality and expression. Even the lyrics in “I’ll Be Honest” take on deeper meaning when viewed through the lens of trans issues. Tracks from “Dress Up” could fit in on Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” soundtrack, alternating between a barreling punk pace and intimate confessionals.

With a soft falsetto voice, songs like “You Make It Sound So Easy” have notes of an understated Bikini Kill or the light 1960s French pop of Jacqueline Taieb. Other tracks like “I Don’t Know” or the cheeky “Can You Ever Trust a Man Who Thinks Matt Damon is Really Cool” lead with a more traditional male punk voice and Ramones beat.

If the music video for “I’ll Be Honest” is any indication, Todd should deliver in concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.) with a mix of lovable neurosis and energy of a Scottish soccer hooligan. Pressing social issues aside, Spook School has a good beat and you can dance to it. Wild Honey, Difficult Night and Alien Three also perform. Tickets are $7-$10 (

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