How's it going? Do you remember me?
Earlier this year I was the pompous ass who anonymously posted to your Top Ten list, proclaiming your choices bunk because you failed to mention the unbelievable records released in 2002 by Pacific Northwest (Portland, Seattle) bands: the Exploding Hearts, the Epoxies, the Cripples, and the Spits.
Then you recommended I should do a review helping explain why the "Pacific Northwest owned in 2002." Yeah, I'm a little late in writing. Or more honestly, I find reviewing records excessively difficult. I wanted to share with the Punknews crowd how great these bands coming from the Pacific Northwest are. But alas, my confidence as a writer waned after reading too many Pitchfork reviews. Although they can be very exclusive and discriminatory, they write reviews with all sorts of allusions, humor, and music terminology.
I wanted to be like a giant jackass and disrespect hard working bands. I don't care if a band tours 9 months in a broken-down van, I wanted to write an indulgent review–drawing more attention to myself than the record itself. It didn't matter if a band always tried their best to put on a live show for fans, I wanted to give their record a 2.1 because they used a passe ska riff on one song. You see Adam, I did not want to enter the stage of album reviewers because there are better writers out there.
But then something unexpected happened. At the private school I attend, we got this substitute teacher named Mr. Schneebly. He told me I was cool, and showed me the handshake. Mr. S showed me how to play electric guitar, even though my overbearing Nazi father wants me to study classical guitar. He also let me be in the top secret rock band school project he was directing. And when I got stage fright and was drained of confidence, he told me I wasn't fat at all, but one of the best writers he has ever seen.
Mr. S also introduced me to bands like the Ramones during Rock History class. Do you like the Ramones? Well, this band called the Spits reminds me a lot of the Ramones. They have the same, "1-2-3 Go!" riffs and rhythm. On this album, they sing silly songs about parties, drinking in alleys, and wanting girlfriends. The guitars buzz and the drumming is fierce and aggressive. In fact, I often find myself air-drumming to this record. The Spits also use a synthesizer that whirrs in the background. This is what makes the Spits the unique punk powerhouse that they are. The synthesizer is used in every song and it adds to the music rather than distracting the listener's attention. The Spits are legit rockers–no synth-band novelty here!
Although the Spits have the Ramones "sound," the vocals are sung with more anger, tenacity, and emotion. The song Rat Race is an excellent example. There's a lot of punky anger in this song and it get's me rockin'! This is how angry Joey should of sounded when the KKK took his baby away.
My favorite song is Bring. The drumming is relentless and primal, and the synthesizer drones like a rabid robot contaminated with rabies. It's a song about girls and here's a lyric, "You know it's true, I'm sniffin' glue / girl you know you're bringing me down." The synth and drum combo in this song is infectious. I could listen to this song all day on repeat.
The Spits are a fun band. They even dress-up in different costumes for every show. When I saw them live, they were wearing cloaks and the synth player was a robot costumed in a cardboard box, aluminum foil, and silver paint. I like them even though some people will call them juvenile, moronic, or retarded.
Adam, you just gotta here their song Bring. Hell, you got to hear the whole album. Since this album was released on a small independent, Slovenly Records, it can be kind of difficult to find. However, it is on Interpunk. This album will make you a fan! They also have a new album coming-out on Dirtnap Records this month.
I hope things are going well in your Punknews responsibilities. I look forward to seeing your best of 2003 list.