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Record Reviews

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SPITS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Take everything you like about the Ramones and Devo, fuse them together and you’ve got the Spits. The songs are head down, fist forward, three-chord assaults laced with keyboards (that’s right, keyboards) that saturate the songs with runny-nosed nostalgia. There is nothing bouncy about these keyboards. On the contrary, it’s like air coming out of a hot air balloon mid-transit. The keyboards are there to make the song heavier. In the course of a song you might hear five, six different notes, tops. And we’re talking whole notes, as in the finger comes down on the key and doesn’t come off again for a full measure. Then it fulfills the loop and repeats itself, again and again and again, building momentum and tearing it apart. Like a train wreck. Like a robot’s brainwaves. Like a fucked-up punk rocker who “can’t get high offa alcohol no more.” The keyboards turns songs like “Saturday Nite,” “Remote Kontrol” and “Tired & Lonely” into dirges. The progressions may be predictable but The Spits are a brutal reminder that just because you know the train is coming doesn’t make it hurt any less when it runs over your sorry ass. –jim (Nickel and Dime)


SPITS, THE:
IV: LP
Listening to the Spits is riding with the Spits. Riding with The Spits is like being inside a beat-up late ‘70s Nova where both the driver and navigator are both barely lucid enough to not sideswipe a church, always arrive at their target destination a little frayed, but are capable of delivering of a collection of sharp razors. (This time, a great album of ten songs.) Somehow, through simple, well-worn denim jacket aesthetics—Ramones, paranoia, punk-as-a-gang, smelly armpit, no-tech fidelity that’s absolutely clear—are able to simultaneously create both the exact same album as the previous three, yet be able to expand on them like mold growing on the inside of a record sleeve that gets into your ears every time the vinyl’s pulled out, plopped down, and spun around. (Here’s my theory: the Spits have one album. They’re still making it. This is the fourth installment of a larger work. Thus, the same name for each album so far.) My hand’s raised. I’m a Spits fan. –todd (Thrift Store / Recess)


SPITS, THE:
self-titled: CD
Apparently these guys are going the Peter Gabriel route by putting out a bunch of self-titled albums on different labels. As for the music, imagine the Ramones with an abundance of tongue-in-cheek idiocy and a thrift store keyboard. This album, their third, isn’t as immediately catchy as the last one (the one with the retard in the wheelchair on the cover), but when it comes to the Spits, who really has time to split hairs? –Josh (Dirtnap)


SPITS, THE:
Self-titled – but I’m calling it Five: CD
Well, I think it’s time to say it. The Spits are—whatever generation this is—Ramones. They simultaneously make the same record over and over again. But that’s a fuckin’ lie. Because there’s always some new mutation radioactively lurking from under the bed or zip-zap lightning bolting from an airborne creature’s eye with each self-titled record. They’ve taken back the alleys. They’re now in the water supply and spray painting dongs on the top of Mt.Shasta. Like mold culture spreading, changing colors, and sprouting hair on the forgotten last slice of pizza rattling around in the box, the Spits have harnessed the power of readymades-made-dangerous. All you—as the listener—have to do is decide to chomp on down instead of throwing The Spits away like an empty box. Pupils dilate. Motor skills slacken. Craving for glue increases. Durable punk for these weird-ass times. Who knew The Spits would have such legs, be so prolific, be some of the last men on earth? Great radiation-mutant rock. –todd (In The Red, intheredrecords.com)


SPITS, THE:
Self-titled: LP
What can you say about The Spits that hasn’t been said before? What needs to be said? It’s not like the formula has changed in the least. It’s the same old sub-surface dwelling troglodytes opting to terrorize humanity with their substance abuse and noise making rather than the standard chase and devour. Yep, nothing new here but there is nothing wrong with that when it comes to The Spits because they got it right a long time ago. –ty (In The Red)


SPITS, THE:
V: LP
The Spits have added another slab of driving, Ramones-laced punk to their canon. “All I Want” kicks the record off with a solid singalong that rivals the band’s best material. The rest of the record is solid. “Fed Up” contains stickier melodies about giving up. The song ends abruptly. Ha. The album is short and sweet with only two of the songs breaking the two-minute mark. Thankfully, The Spits never give up. –Billups Allen (In the Red)


SPITS, THE:
Erste Deutche Original Aufnahme!: 12”
The Spits are one of those bands that never do what you expect (unless you expect them to self title each new LP, I suppose). Weird costumes. Weird show antics. A goddamn children’s book and record set! Well, in honor of their current European tour, they’ve done it again. Four classic Spits songs sung in German by none other than King Kahn. Let’s just say that the music of The Spits lends itself very well to being sung in German. Perfectly, in fact. You might ask yourself ,”That sounds like a great seven inch,” but you’d be wrong because it’s a twelve inch—a beautiful red and black splatter slab housed in an amazing gatefold sleeve. Overkill you say? That’s The Spits alright. –ty (Red Lounge)


SPITTING COBRAS:
Idle b/w Tickin: 7"
Two songs from a Brooklyn three-piece. Sounds like a mix of AC/DC and the Hunches, though these songs are more lackluster and tepid than that suggests. The band seems to be going for a straight-up garage rock approach, but tempering it here and there with the odd section of sonic fuckery or call-and-response interplay in the vocal department. Both songs are mid-tempo, and while they’re okay, it seems like the Spitting Cobras need to decide if they want to shoot for the genitalia-swinging sex-and-drugs rock approach (see: AC/DC) or all-out garage-noise spasticness (see: the Hunches). Otherwise they’re just toeing the line between the two, and the result is pretty forgettable. –keith (Wrecked Em)


SPITTING IMAGE:
Valley Floor: 7”
What a weird record. The music is sort of noise pop (think Shoppers) that is very informed by early Joy Division and other heavier elements of British post-punk. The closest point of reference would be early Iceage/Lower/I guess other Danish noisy punk bands, but it lacks the intensity or memorability of either of the aforementioned bands. It comes with a thirty-some page zine of artists from Nevada that is really cool and sort of overshadows the record. –Ian Wise (Negative Space)


SPITTING IMAGE:
Love on a Terror: 7”
I’ll start off with my only criticism of this record, the artwork. I don’t get it. But do not let the cover fool you. Imagine if Nation Of Ulysses were from the desert and you’ll have an idea about Spitting Image’s sound. They have a very Northwestern post-punk sound mixed with spacey desert rock on this record. These Reno boys have been playing for a while now and getting better and better by the release. “Love on a Terror”is a mid-paced, post-punk song with a lot of angst that crawls to a near six-minute end. “We Begin” is a bit more intense and spacey sounding. I saw these guys play last year and was super impressed by their live intensity. Spitting Image is doing punk rock right and I, for one, can’t wait for the full length. Buy this record.  –Ryan Nichols (NGTV SPC)


SPITTING TEETH:
Don’t Believe the Hype: 7"
I don’t listen to a lot of straight-ahead hardcore anymore. Sometimes it seems like there’s only so much that you can do within the parameters of a minute-long song. You can only be so fast and so divergent when you’re stuffing eight songs into a seven-inch. But bands still come along and add new wrinkles to hardcore, and when they nail it, it’s fucking cool. Spitting Teeth is one of those bands. They find ways to let a little air breath into a fast-as-hell song and throw cool bass lines or drum fills into the wall of noise. They’re like DS-13 in that way. And, like Negative Approach, they do have a lot of power and anger without being overwhelming. Most importantly, even though they stick within the parameters of minute/minute-and-a-half long songs and they do have an eight-song seven-inch here, they also find something new within those parameters.
–sean (Havoc)


SPITTING TEETH:
Legacy of Cruciality: EP
I’m generally pretty happy about the bandana thrash revival. It’s super to hear bands like What Happens Next? and Life’s Halt tear it up old style, but this record begs the question: how soon ‘til it’s played as fuck? The music part’s mostly fine (though they’re playing a little fast to squeeze much power out of a couple of the numbers) but, out of eight songs, TWO are about straightedge, and the embarrassingly-titled “Million Man Mosh” is about circlepitting. I mean, if they’re joking, I gotta say it’s been done. And if they’re serious – well, it just goes to show you don’t have to be drunk to be dumb. –Cuss Baxter ($4 ppd;1-2-3-4 GO!!! Records)


SPITTING TEETH/1-2-GO! CREW:
Fear of a Mosh Planet: split 7”
Too many splits attempt to make seductive Siamese twins out of bands that are just too damn similar to make it really interesting. Admittedly, Siamese twins are in and of themselves naturally interesting and these similar-band pairings sometimes do work. But too often you wind up with a two-headed beast of the “Jessica Simpson/Nick Whatever-his-name-is” variety and crushing blandness is the inevitable result. When you have truly divergent personalities smushed up together, it just makes it that much more interesting and pleasantly jarring. Fear of a Mosh Planet is a case in point. You will have no trouble telling the two groups on this split apart. Now, with 1-2-GO! Crew, I must confess to being far from ideally suited to throw any kind of meaningful critical light on these guys. The idea of someone like me reviewing something rap/hip-hop is probably like having Paris Hilton try to say something insightful about a Mentors show. In fact, the Fat Boys are about the only hip-hop group who, by virtue of the sheer heft of their awesomeness, ever broke through the walls of my sheltered little world and started punk-slapping me around. So though my couple Fat Boys tapes hardly afford me the “street cred” to be mouthing off on such things – I’ll go ahead and say simply that I like this posi-core sXe rap music the 1-2-GO! Crew serves up. It even has a rap remake of Damage Deposit’s “Ninjas to the Back” and some human beat boxing that helped me to feel a little bit more at home. Spitting Teeth, on the other hand, is more familiar territory for me; they lunge at you and smack you around the room with feisty, thrashy hardcore that has a slight southern-fried Confederacy of Scum undercurrent at times. Each side of this record stands on its own, but taken all together, this is one refreshing one-two punch of a split 7 incher. –aphid (1-2-3-4-GO!)


SPITTIN’ VICARS, THE:
The Gospel According to: CD
Anthemic punk rock along the lines of Cocksparrer, though not quite as interesting or memorable. –jimmy (Radio Blast)


SPIVEYS:
V: CD
Noisy rock stuff, not unlike the Cows or Scratch Acid on a bad trip. Tense stuff. –jimmy (Doubleplusgood, PO Box 18721, Minneapolis, MN 55418)


SPLAT:
Self-titled: 7”
Rust Belt dumbpunk for fans of the first Wax Museums LP, Clerks, and that feeling when you meet a new person at a party and are able to share your wildest drinking stories with someone who’s never heard them before. It’s not so much an exchange of ideas, but an enjoyable display of degenerate behavior. Rich in flaws and filthy in fun-esque-ness. My only real problem is the lack of detail in the referencing of the Germs’ back cover art. And it wouldn’t be too big of a deal, except This Moment In Black History (who hail from the same locale as Splat) did a spot-on job with their It Takes a Nation… LP. Perhaps it’s the unconscious at work, and not a reference at all? –Daryl Gussin (Saucepan, saucepanrecords@gmail.com)


SPLINTER CELL:
Will You Be My Friend?: CD
It sounds like the guys in this band aren’t quite sure what they want to sound like, but they are leaning towards really bad rockabilly. The guitar player sounds talented, but he noodles around on the damn thing a little too much. Within a lot of the songs on here are quite a bit of strange time changes. Too many for my liking. This CD just made me feel really bored. If I saw these guys live, I would probably leave whatever venue they were playing at. They have a song that’s all about Robitussin, and another one titled “Octomom.” Give me a break. To answer the question in the CD title, “No.” –Nighthawk (Meth Bog, myspace.com/methbogrecords)


SPLIT:
Self-Titled: 7"
Loud, heavy hardcore from Switzerland with personal, political, and scene-oriented lyrics. Not bad, not particularly memorable. –jimmy (Rinderherz)


SPLITHABIT:
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: CD
As smooth as a talcum-powdered baby’s butt and just about as excruciatingly sappy as a Family Circus cartoon. In fact, as I listen to this, I picture the band with big balloon heads like the kids in the Family Circus – which somehow makes the whole thing a bit more palatable. But not even cartoony visions of ridiculous hydroencephalus can save this cloying heap of sweet dung. I bet even Hillary Duff would think Splithabit is lame. –aphid (Double Zero)


SPLITS, THE:
II: MLP
If Kim Shattuck of The Muffs sang for Mrs. Magician, then you’d have Helsinki’s The Splits. The songs are moody and somber and mostly forgettable with the exception of “Melody” and “Death Song.” Overall, the record is a nearly successful trepanning; the songs pierce my scalp and crack my skull, but they can’t find their way into my head.  –Sean Arenas (Dirtnap, dirtnaprecs.com)


SPLODGENESSABOUNDS:
The Artful Splodger: CD
Twenty-plus years on and Max still has it, thanks in no small part to a great backing band and a seemingly endless well of humor. He’s a favorite with the oi boy crowd, but I can’t remember a time when he didn’t have a good mop of hair on his head. There’s 16 tracks here, one of which is a remake of his classic “Two Pints of Lager,” which originally appeared on one of those old oi comps way back when. Also of note is “667, Neighbor of the Beast,” which, although being the millionth time I’ve heard that joke, is a great, dead-on parody of Iron Maiden. Good listening to be found here, kids. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


SPLODGENESSABOUNDS:
The Artful Splodger: CD
Twenty-plus years on and Max still has it, thanks in no small part to a great backing band and a seemingly endless well of humor. He’s a favorite with the oi boy crowd, but I can’t remember a time when he didn’t have a good mop of hair on his head. There’s 16 tracks here, one of which is a remake of his classic “Two Pints of Lager,” which originally appeared on one of those old oi comps way back when. Also of note is “667, Neighbor of the Beast,” which, although being the millionth time I’ve heard that joke, is a great, dead-on parody of Iron Maiden. Good listening to be found here, kids. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


SPOILERS:
Stay Afloat: CD
Since the early 1990s, when bearded Floridians and Californians co-opted the Leatherface sound and based an entire American punk genre on it, I’ve been waiting for the Brits to re-appropriate something from our shores and turn it around on us. Twenty-five years later and that time has come. Spoilers join the ranks of Bear Trade (who unsurprisingly make the Spoilers “Thank You” list) and the Murderburgers showing us Yanks how it’s done. If you’re digging on currents like Success! and Western Settings, but also have a huge affection for pints from the pub, soccer, and Snuff, the six songs on Stay Afloat will not be nearly enough. Highly recommended.  –Matt Seward (Boss Tuneage, bosstuneage.com))


SPOILERS:
Stay Afloat: 12”/CD
Spoiler alert: this band reminds me a lot of Snuff and that is definitely a positive comparison for this debut release from a band from Kent, the Garden of England. This is a strong six-tracker which employs a hectic skate punk delivery offset by a more considered mid-tempo sound, often switching between the two at a moment’s notice. As with Snuff, Spoilers makes use of keyboards/organ to provide an added warmth and depth to its songs. All in all, this is a highly enjoyable record and is likely to remain on regular rotation.  –Rich Cocksedge (brassneckrecords.bigcartel.com)


SPOILERS:
Stay Afloat: LP
Since the early 1990s, when bearded Floridians and Californians co-opted the Leatherface sound and based an entire American punk genre on it, I’ve been waiting for the Brits to re-appropriate something from our shores and turn it around on us. Twenty-five years later and that time has come. Spoilers join the ranks of Bear Trade (who unsurprisingly make the Spoilers “Thank You” list) and the Murderburgers showing us Yanks how it’s done. If you’re digging on currents like Success! and Western Settings, but also have a huge affection for pints from the pub, soccer, and Snuff, the six songs on Stay Afloat will not be nearly enough. Wicked sea and foam (blue and white) splatter vinyl. Highly recommended.  –Matt Seward (Boss Tuneage, bosstuneage.com)


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