|Spit Like This - 'Normalityville Horror' (Dark Lord Records)|
|Written by Steve Beebee|
|Monday, 30 April 2012 04:00|
"This is my love letter to those who take too much. Pride comes before a fall, trust me - your time will come."
So seethes Spit Like This frontman Lord Zion on 'Sick', the considered but spite-fuelled track that open his band's second album, 'Normalityville Horror'. Aimed sharply at 'industry' types who have stood in the way, not done their jobs, and lied through their teeth, 'Sick' is a satisfying slice of payback.
Being just about the coolest looking band in the UK, and playing music that sounds like no-one else, Spit Like This are not a band you're likely to see embraced by the mainstream media or music industry at large. Looking like visitors to Mos Eisley spaceport when the industry wants you to look like You Me At fucking Six, Spit Like This are instantly seen as a threat. And playing jagged music, veering from darkness to light, embracing everything from glam to horror-punk, from camp to chaos, when the industry wants you to sound like the aural equivalent of green tea, again takes you to a different plane.
The spoon-fed, shit-swallowing Simon Cowell generation won't get Spit Like This - but if you're reading Über Röck, there's a good chance you will.
'Normalityville Horror' takes what was hinted at on debut 'We Won't Hurt You (But We Won't Go Away)' and gives it flesh and colour. This is only partly thanks to the heavyweight production skills of Chris Tsangarides, who can list everyone from Judas Priest to, famously, Anvil, on his CV. Love or hate them, you can't argue with the fact that Spit Like This sound like nothing but themselves, and the freedom they had in making this album is obvious.
Lord Zion fronts the whole thing in a fashion that never fails to intrigue. From camp, hands-on-hips outrage to cool croon to Elvis swivel, he's berating you, drill sergeant-style, one moment and standing tall for the underdog the next. All of the above makes its presence felt in the rollercoaster title track, before 'Zero To Sixty' sees this album make the leap into hyperspace. Perhaps the single most enjoyable three-minutes of this band's career to date, this is a speeding, gear-shifting psychobilly classic. Drummer Vile Gilez keeps this one rattling along in a rush of muscle car adrenaline. "Can I make this U-turn?" ponders Zion, a bug-eyed tattooed speed freak singing with the accent and charm of a Victorian English adventurer.
'Very Very Good At Being Bad' has a cascading chorus that diverts into a series of strange twists, before rippling riffs introduce 'Dragged Kicking & Screaming'. It promptly struts like a vampire on ecstasy before striking out with a cheeky nursery rhyme of a hook. 'Teen Angel' is not the glam tease you might expect from the title - it's more of a Fifties-inspired rockabilly romp inseminated by Rob Riot's evil guitars and the steady, libidinous throb of Vikki Spit's low-slung bass. Just like 'The Dumb Song' - equally comic-sinister, just as much fun - it has one of those untypical choruses that nevertheless stay with you long after the final chords have crashed to a halt.
The Dogs D'Amour styled title of 'The Life And Times Of The Suicide Kid' does indeed strike a different note, comparable to that band's own bottles-and-despair storytelling sleaze. Zion's tremulous, evil-Elvis vocals guide you down this troubled road, and just when you think you know where it's headed, Spit Like This again veer off into a totally unexpected cul-de-sac of broken down and built up metallic riffs. It sure keeps lazy reviewers on their toes!
'Oh No! Here We Go!' revisits the full throttle carnage of 'Zero To Sixty', hugging the corners, speeding down the straights and reminding you that this band are, above all else, a lot of fun. Coiled and rattling, 'Dead To Me Now' rounds the whole thing off with an infected injection of (im)pure punk sleaze.
And there you have it - a lovably oddball, tattooed B-movie of an album, one that'll reach glam kids, (proper) punk kids and lovers of all things retro and psychobilly. The music industry might be looking in the opposite direction, but frankly where would you rather be heading? Sitting in the waiting room or having some fun before you die? See you down the freakshow.
To pick up your copy of 'Normalityville Horror' - CLICK HERE