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Spiderbait
Tonight Alright
Interscope Records
www.spiderbait.com.au


Spiderbait's strength is in their variety. They infuse solid licks and decent hooks into their songs, and while the main guitar lines drive the majority of the material, the album evolves and constantly sounds different as the songs progress. A lot of the songs evoke an Al Jourgenson-esque feel, with the straightforward guitar that hints at danceable, although fast, grooves. The music just rocks.

For a three-piece, Spiderbait knows how to use all of their members to the fullest, with each taking turn singing lead vocals, and overall filling a lot of space. Having a female vocalist greatly breaks up any sense of monotony, with well-defined songs that hold their own against her two male counterparts. Nothing beats a chick that can rock out as well.

As for the production, I would have done a couple of things differently. First, I would have used the singing capabilities of the members a lot more. Besides some not-worth-mentioning back-up vocals sparsed throughout, each song maintains only one harmony. Come on, with three good singers present, you have to use it; it's like the law. And with a killer girl along to boot, some Kim Deal reminiscent backing vocals could take you to a whole new level. Also, as with other bands, the bass loses in the final mix. Sorry, but the guitar needs to take it down a notch so the bass has room to exist. I know what you are saying, but even though it is heavily guitar driven, having a better bass presence could really put some extra K.O. into that killer punch that is already there.

Despite my nit-picks this is a really impressive album, songwriting-wise and feel-wise. "Take Me Back" and "Live In a Box" set up the album nicely, and "Black Betty" throws me for a nice loop every time. You know I can't help it, but I have to; "Fucken Awesome" is just that: fucken awesome, and the album just gets better and better.

It is truly the variety that does me in every time. Nice job.

-bishop

Track listing:

1) Take Me Back
2) Live in a Box
3) Black Betty
4) Put it Down
5) Fucken Awesome
6) 5th Set
7) The Dog
8) Cows
9) Tonite
10) Alright
11) In This City
12) Picky


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Mike Doughty



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