I find myself in the situation of trawling backwards through a band’s discography again and feeling that I must be a complete idiot for not being aware of the band before their third long-player came my way. Then I realise with the plethora of music and forms of music available these days I shouldn't be too harsh on myself.
This time, Dan Webb and the Spiders get the arse-backwards treatment and boy, it’s working out well for me. Having reviewed their third album Much Obliged recently, I was given a download card for their second album when buying a shirt from the band at their recent Plymouth show (30 minutes of fuzzed-up joy). It’s taken me two weeks to get 'round to downloading and listening to Oh Sure, and it’s two weeks wasted in my eyes. Whereas I thought Much Obliged was quite a good album, Oh Sure is even better. Opening with the excellent “Everyday Is Raceday”, the songs keep coming at you thick and fast in that simplistic way that I find is one of the things I like Dan Webb and the Spiders—why do anything in an overblown, overdone way when at its stripped-down core, punk/rock/indie music is a pretty basic beast? When keeping it simple there is more chance of obtaining a synergy from all the constituent parts and here that is quite clearly the case.
Lyrically, this won’t challenge anyone to think about issues and change the way they live, but it will provide basic scenarios that we should all be able to identify with or at least accept as part of everyday life.
The album is consistent from start to finish with a steady stream of enjoyable songs, with Dan Webb’s signature fuzzed vocals over an amped-up guitar/bass/drum combo with a lead guitar that is patently something you should be used to hearing on a Dan Webb and the Spiders record.
Despite the consistency of the album, I would pick out “North Station” and “No Fun” to stand alongside the opening track as my pick of the pops. There are few recent albums that I've put on and played three times in a row with no breath taken for any other activity, but Oh Sure is one, and it has me transfixed across repeated plays. A classic to last for years? Maybe, maybe not. A bloody great listen? Without a shadow of a doubt. I’d like to give it 8.5/10 but will settle for 8 as to not place too much pressure on its shoulders!
Now to get hold of their first album—I’m not sure if I could take it if it’s better again.