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One Punks Guide to Pinball, by Kayla Greet
Razorcake #92
Spokenest, Gone, Gone, Gone LP
Pinned In Place, Ghostwritten By LP
Razorcake #91


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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SPIRIT OF DANGER:
Malus Web: Cassette
I just discovered Marc Maron’s WTFpodcast, and have been bingeing appropriately in an effort to get caught up on the man’s Proustian prolifism. His podcast with Thom Yorke from Radiohead had a point that’s stuck in my head since I heard it: Yorke talks about how each bit of Can’s Tago Mago makes sense a few seconds after it happens. This Spirit Of Danger release is the same way: as the thick, largely midtempo riffage provides a backdrop for snotty/affected British accent vocals, I think it’s competent. But afterwards, the songs get stuck in my head, so they’re doing something right, right? I can’t pin down what it is, exactly, but the answer is yes.  –Michael T. Fournier (SPIRIT OF DANGER)


SPIRIT OF DANGER:
Malus Web: Cassette
Somewhere between chugging and blistering, sanity and satanism is where Spirit Of Danger contorts, playing Twister on the whole mess. Well done. It also comes with the tiniest most adorable booklet I’ve ever seen in album packaging.  –Jackie Rusted (Self-released)


SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, THE:
Self-titled: Cassette
This is the kind of music that I like, but only find myself listening to in certain moods—those moods being when I’m really fucking high. Due to my rather specific tastes in that area, I’m almost never high and hardly ever listen to music like this: psychedelic indie rock played in the meandering style of Sonic Youth and Sebadoh, stuff like that. Mostly loping. Dreamy riffing over lackadaisical male and female vocals with some occasional harsher distortion thrown in to keep it interesting while lyrics tell jaded tales of the loser chic life. If you get enough druggy post-hardcore, you’ll probably appreciate this.  –Craven Rock (Ice Age)


SPIT:
Poison in Your Head: LP
Listening to Tel Aviv’s Spit scream and rage their way through eighteen blistering tracks, undeniably influenced by the likes of Minor Threat and Circle Jerks, is a liberating experience. The album exudes boundless energy and makes me want to revisit my younger days when I could take my place in the sweating, heaving mass of a pit. This is simple, straightforward, and well-executed.  –Rich Cocksedge (Crapoulet, cool@crapoulet.fr, crapoulet.fr / Defiant Hearts, defianthearts@hotmail.de, defiant-hearts.com)


SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE:
2005 Demo: CD-R
Tough-guy hardcore with enough metal to result in an average song length of two minutes, which calculates to an excess of approximately a minute and a half, according to chapter thirteen, section five, line seventeen of The Hardcore Handbook on Song Lengths and Footwear Fashion. Nice to know that backyard bands sound pretty much the same in other parts of the country, too. –jimmy (figthingchancemd@hotmail.com)


SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE:
2005 Demo: CD-R
Burly Baltimore HC that, at its best, brings to mind early Paint It Black. It’s a lot more tough guy/crew/stabbed-in-the-back than I go for, but the vocals are good and the playing is solid. We’ll see what happens when they get a record out. They are teetering right on the line of being really good and getting lost in the pack of tough and burly East Coast hardcore. –frame (fightingchancemd@hotmail.com)


SPIT PINK:
Night of the Lizard: LP
Yikes! There’s nothing gutsy about Spit Pink’s brand of “punk.” Night of the Lizard is silly and sarcastic at best, and at worst it’s jockish and downright offensive. Here’s a smidgen of “Jenny & Jim:” “Oh that girl is a guy / you fell in love with her / and you don’t know why / …now you’re wearing your high heels and a sequin dress / you always thought being gay was sick / and now her pubes tickle your chin while you suck her dick.” Although Spit Pink’s sound is a throwback to ‘70s-era Stooges, they didn’t need to appropriate outdated meatheadedness as well. –Sean Arenas (Wanda, mailorder.wandarecords.de)


SPIT VITRIOL:
The Blood It Takes to Make the Breaks: EP
Do you want a record that’s fast and heavy hardcore/d-beat with a hint of rock’n’roll vibe? How about produced and recorded by Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind? If you answered yes to these questions, look no further. This four-song rager opens with a long-ish intro into the ripping track “Shallow Grave.” Confession time: I really dig long intros with lots of buildup, especially when the song they lead into packs a solid punch. “Shallow Grave” is like a Muhammad Ali right hook to the eardrums (I mean that in the best way possible), and the band doesn’t let up from there. Featuring member(s) of Resist, Spit Vitriol is a rad new project and I’m looking forward to future recordings. –Paul J. Comeau  –Paul J. Comeau (Insurgent, insurgentrecords.bandcamp.com, spitvitriolpdx@gmail.com)


SPITALFIELD:
The Cloak & Dagger Club: CDEP
Oh sure, it starts off nice - all ringing guitars that portend nothing but Grade-A rock'n'roll in a big fucking way - but like most of the mercifully short dates I've had here, it takes a screeching turn for the worse after a few seconds - literally. After about twenty seconds of guitar work which raised my hopes, it dropped into an underwhelming impersonation of, alternately, The Get Up Kids (only this time with distortion) and Avril Lavigne. I'll cop to owning GUK albums and I'll also cop to throwing this unoriginal piece of shit into the sell pile. Before I moved to central Illinois, I had the impression that it was a hotbed of indie activity; that - since Polyvinyl was so damn close, since Chicago produced some of the greatest bands to ever rock the face of the Earth (Pegboy, Naked Raygun and The Arrivals to name only a few) - the scene would rule. After some serious disabusing (I actually considered filing assault charges when my erroneous ideas were so brutally kicked to the curb), I've realized that this place is a hotbed of bandwagons. I don't care if these guys just recorded for Victory - they still sound like every other shitty emo band with rockist tendencies and stadium show dreams. They still make Night Ranger and Poison seem to have the humanist insight and attention to poignant detail exhibited by Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. And with that in mind, is it any wonder that I've been listening to Leadbelly and Lonnie Johnson? –scott (Sinister)


SPITALFIELD:
The Cloak & Dagger Club: CDEP
Oh sure, it starts off nice – all ringing guitars that portend nothing but Grade-A rock’n’roll in a big fucking way – but like most of the mercifully short dates I’ve had here, it takes a screeching turn for the worse after a few seconds – literally. After about twenty seconds of guitar work which raised my hopes, it dropped into an underwhelming impersonation of, alternately, The Get Up Kids (only this time with distortion) and Avril Lavigne. I’ll cop to owning GUK albums and I’ll also cop to throwing this unoriginal piece of shit into the sell pile. Before I moved to central Illinois, I had the impression that it was a hotbed of indie activity; that – since Polyvinyl was so damn close, since Chicago produced some of the greatest bands to ever rock the face of the Earth (Pegboy, Naked Raygun and The Arrivals to name only a few) – the scene would rule. After some serious disabusing (I actually considered filing assault charges when my erroneous ideas were so brutally kicked to the curb), I’ve realized that this place is a hotbed of bandwagons. I don’t care if these guys just recorded for Victory – they still sound like every other shitty emo band with rockist tendencies and stadium show dreams. They still make Night Ranger and Poison seem to have the humanist insight and attention to poignant detail exhibited by Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. And with that in mind, is it any wonder that I’ve been listening to Leadbelly and Lonnie Johnson? –scott (Sinister)


SPITALFIELD/DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT:
Split: LP
DWAI suffer from trying to be goofy and woah-woahy, like Gorilla Biscuits playing a senior prom in a Sha-Na-Na '50s style. Innocuous, as confusing as it is annoying, but ultimately bland. Not so good. The more I listened to it, the less I liked it. Spitalfield: Harmless pop that has its moments but largely solely repeats the good parts until over and over until it gets boring. Dude, I think my tolerance for second-tier pop punk just bottomed out. Even the hypnotizing yellow and blue swirls in the wax aren't convincing me otherwise. –todd (Walk in Cold)


SPITFIRES, THE:
Three: CD
Okay. I don’t ask for a lot. I think that the requirements for being called “punk” are not as difficult as many make them out to be. And I think that if a band gets interviewed on MTV of their own volition, they are not a punk band. Does this mean Green Day isn’t a punk band anymore? Yes. Does this mean that Spitfires aren’t a punk band? Yes. Come on, haven’t you heard “MTV Get off the Air”? Send this to Spin or something, dude. Oh, and while I am it, fuck press kits. This is General Mills test marketing or something. I don’t know. Who needs it? –Maddy (Longshot/Scratch)


SPITS, THE:
2006 European Tour: LP
You know The Spits, right? One of their songs plays every time you crack open a PBR. Spits next stop: Rock Hall of Fame, fuckers. Live albums seem more for Frampton and Kiss, so doesn’t it make sense that The Spits would follow those two? Spits already got stage dancers (fat guys) and explosions (bottle rockets) so a live album had to be coming. Live albums have a band’s best songs (all the Spits songs are good) and the band is playing their best since they’re on tour (at one point, they ask Sean if he remembers “Remote Control” at all, the song they’ve been playing since 1995). I love all the Spits stuff so it’s easy to like this, a quick collection of their sour gum punk from live shows and a six-song stint on WMFU. Also includes three live KBD cover songs from The Kids, Black Easter and Crap Detectors, for that “this is still a new album” feel, like when Kiss had that fourth side of Alive II. Recording is pretty darn good for live (bar) sound, and the WMFU recording is great! –Fast, tight, clean. I think this is already out of print, unless you find a Spit. –mike (P. Trash )


SPITS, THE:
2006 European Tour: 12” 45
Twelve Spits classics recorded live at various locales, all featuring the band’s archetypical sound: Drums reminiscent of a machine gun high on cough syrup, accompanied by a persistent harangue of corrupted but highly linear buzz and fuzz and voltage, plus vocals that sound like a retarded robot singing bad opera. The compressed acoustics of the live environment suit the band’s sound to a T (whatever exactly that means); i would go so far as to say that this type of recording is such a good fit that this might actually be the quintessential Spits album, if such a thing reasonably exists. Fuck you, monarchy! BEST SONG: “Nuclear Bomb” BEST SONG TITLE: “Spit Me Out” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This is the only Spits album i can think of that isn’t named “The Spits.” –norb (P. Trash)


SPITS, THE:
19 Million A.C. EP: CD
Punk rock has always claimed itself to be a sanctuary for society’s rejects and unwanted dorks—the more “organic” of the cultural misfits—as well as the more dashing self-made rebels and troublemakers. Unfortunately, punk isn’t always as open minded as it would like everyone to think and occasionally the natural born oafs get summarily shoved aside by the showier malcontents. So while all manner of crusties and street punks and whatnot bark and seethe and use their ass crayons to mark their various territories, bands like the Spits are content celebrating the happy dumb fun of the Thoroughbred Clod. To get an idea of their sound, picture the most maladroit schmub you knew in highschool—braces, pimples, laughable haircut, diapers and all—and imagine him eating a few handfuls of shoe polish and then doing a wonderfully inept Joey Ramone impersonation. Add some crude Ramones/Misfits type guitar riffs and throw in some random helpings of Devo-ish keyboards that sound like robots shaving or someone’s annoying little kid playing with the tuning knob on a transistor radio and you’ve pretty much got the Spits. And on top of all that good wholesome stuff, they’ve got some pretty damn funny lyrics, to boot. All-in-all, this disc—which is a reissue of their 19 Million AC 7” with fifteen whopping “bonus” tracks—is pure lo-fi, low-brow fun. With Ramones dropping like flies these days, we need someone to pick up the Dork Gauntlet and run and trip with it. I can think of no one better than the Spits. –aphid (Dirtnap)


SPITS, THE:
Self-titled: CD EP
While maybe not as immediately satisfying as its two predecessors, the boys’ third self-titled CD is chock full of the same thick-headed brilliance we have come to love, and they still sound like the Ramones’ autistic cousins, which is a plus no matter how you slice it. I can think of no better way to start the new year than by blasting this bad boy with astonishing frequency.  –jimmy (Dirtnap)


SPITS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
The boys from Washington return to give the kids more thick-skulled thud punk with just a smidge of keyboards. As can be expected, the resulting tuneage provided here is top notch, mandatory listening for anyone with even a passing interest in punk rock.
–jimmy (Slovenly)


SPITS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Mid-tempo, primal and funny punk rock that flat-out stomps much of the competition into the ground. I’m particularly impressed with the fact that they are able to remind me of the Ramones without sounding like a Ramones rip off. Now that takes some doing, and for that alone, I send this along to you with the highest of recommendations. - –jimmy (Nickel & Dime)


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)


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