Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Album Review: Spider Bags- Frozen Letter

Spider Bags
Frozen Letter
*** out of *****

The Spider Bags newest release Frozen Letter is the fourth from the North Carolina based three piece and it is a bit weirder looser and sketchier then the bands past garage rock efforts. The group was hesitant to put this record out, recording it more for themselves, but decided to release it in the end and Frozen Letter bares the mark (both good and bad) of an off-the-cuff offering.

The opener "Back With You Again in the World" has a build up that hints at more before a twangy sax solo throws the first curve ball at the listener. It's lighthearted chatter at the end lets you know the band isn't being to serious but with this tracks engaging tempo change the listener is left wanting more; this happens a few times on the disk.

"Japanese Vacation" scratches the pop/rock itch before a clanging finale, while the you weren't alive vibe of "Summer Of '79" bounces forward on a great bass line and cowbell motif. The album contains a few tricks, alternate mixes like in "Coffin Car" which ends while a different version of the tune plays low in the background, unfortunately that alt track sounds like a hipper version.

The band is really flippant about almost everything and that looseness is both engaging and frustrating. "Walking Bubble" is a good example with it's layers of nuanced riffs matched by lyrics that sound like first draft nonsense. That is until the doozy of a line "In the town I live/the lord is risen/There aren't any jobs/unless your working at the prison" is dropped and makes you reconsider the whole song. Upon reexamination it is just that; an amazing line surround be less then average ones.

The one place it is hard to fault the band on any front is "We Got Problems". Helped out by Superchunk's Mac McCaughan the band gets heavier and proceeded to jam out for five and a half minutes, showcasing an exciting aspect to their group dynamics for the first time.      

Frozen Letter comes off feeling like a practice session put to tape and offered up for consumption. There is an intimacy that is engaging but a rough feel that persists; if the band had put a bit more effort into things there could be a great album lurking just off in the distance.
Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:


1 comment:

  1. I have already read out this album, since this is the newest release I dont have chance to listen this. But my surrounding has rumoured about this that in this new album they have tried a different verison of tune plays, so im really excited to listen it