There wasn't a discernible narrative on the previous LPs. There was an unkempt quality to the music's presentation, which suggested these were, essentially, slung together jams. But Spares is a noticeable step up from past LPs—most likely a sign of Lustwerk's maturing studio craft. The synths have a plush, high-fidelity feel, which was also apparent on Studio OST, his collaborative album with Alvin Aronson. The album flows more naturally, and the tracks are more fully developed.
As with Lustwerk's work in general, Spares is a mix of woozy deep house chords and leads with a delicate techno throb. It's a pleasant formula, but it's not without downsides—the tracks can drift along so easily that they might pass by almost unnoticed. From the delicate haze of "Somewhere Around Here" to the mechanical thrum of "Charger," there's a linear quality to the Road Hog sound. But there's an ineffable depth and mystique that can make Spares feel genuinely immersive.
Spares's dreamy tone implies an idealised vision of open space, the kind of flattering portrayal found in the David Lynch film The Straight Story. "Trebisky"'s soft-edged notes rise and fall like gently undulating hills. "AC" soars to meet what seems like an expanse of sky. The album's moodier tracks, by contrast, close in around you. The muted creep of the pad in "Charger," for example, encroaches like the onset of dusk. The beats in "Tail" stutter through a darkly ambient atmosphere.
The LP's tracks are smoothly seductive, so much so that they resemble Galcher Lustwerk tracks. Other Road Hog records have been modestly experimental, but here, as the album's laconic chords drift by, it's harder to tell the projects apart. What keeps Spares distinctive, though, is the occasional detour away from deep house—the somnambulant electro of "Store," the synth ambient of "Trebisky." Road Hog might've run out of gas, but Spares shows that Lustwerk has plenty left in the tank.