Kind of Like Spitting - The Thrill of the Hunt (Cover Artwork)

Kind of Like Spitting

The Thrill of the Hunt (2006)


In my opinion, Ben Barnett seems to be overlooked in the music world. With eight full-lengths, five splits and six EPs and singles under his Kind of Like Spitting moniker, it seems like he and David J should have been up in the same league as some of his other Portland contemporaries.

One of said full-lengths, and in my mind the most accessible, is The Thrill of the Hunt. Sadly, this is also their last. While the band jumps around in the overall "indie" genre, I always thought their quieter stuff was the better than their electric stuff. This album falls right in the middle. It is not the quiet, mellow, finger-picked stuff from You Secretly Want Me Dead. And it sure as shit is not the Midwestern emo sound that made up Bridges Worth Burning. It is a great album that showcases their influences.

What makes this album different than most is that the title song, and first track, was not sung by Ben Barnett; rather, David J took the lead. The song sets the tone for the album. It is sad, but optimistic. This theme will show up on a lot of this album. The next standout track is "Share the Road." It is a quick little song about leaving and/or being left, and while that sounds like I am being overly dramatic, so is the song. It is about being troubled.

"Holding Patterns" is heartbreaking. It is about Ben's friend, Curtis Freitag, who overdosed. It is a song in a series including "26 Is Too Soon" and "Continent" (from other albums). It is as somber as a song regarding that subject should be, and the consequential standout.

There is a great re-recording of "The Thing About Distance" (originally on their self-titled album), and some great cover songs on this album too. For the covers, there is "You," "A Song for You," "Lay Some Happiness on Me" and "Thirteen" (by Bad Religion, Leon Russell, Dean Martin and Big Star, respectively). They do the originals justice, and make them their own.

However, as I said previously, this is not their best album. It is a little too heavy on cover songs for my liking (five out of 13). Additionally, I just like the moodier and quieter stuff from the band's Hush Records days more. This album is still great, overall, but I always feel like it is missing something.

If you do not know the band, start here and work back. You will not be disappointed.