Dusting Off The Cobwebs… This Is Spider.
Cover photo credit – David Chi.
When a band “calls it a day”, splits, goes on an indefinite hiatus or explains that they have done so via various other explanations of nullification, it’s never a good day. The band could have have thirty years behind them, perhaps even thirty days but it matters not, as any length of time spent on such a venture still harnesses commitment regardless of the time frame.
Now, when these bands suddenly feel their passion ignited once more, or feel the power of the power chords again it’s an exciting time. Enter Long Beach Punk vets, Spider.
2016 saw the end of the fifteen year gap between their debut full-length album Youth Insurance released in 2001 and this aforementioned reawakening. According to vocalist Hector Martinez Spider have already set themselves up with a steady stream of shows in the US, airplay on home soil as well as in Canada and are already penning a new EP.
This is all very exciting, but who are Spider?
Taking influences from the likes of Flag, Refused (more on that in a moment), The Germs, At The Drive-In (and that), The Bronx, Circle Jerks and Minor Threat you are taken through an almost encyclopedia of late 70’s and 80’s style Punk and the music it inspired.
Now you are asking why we need more time on the citation of both At The Drive-In and Refused. Well, both bands are credited as taking Punk and Hardcore further and producing some of the best Post-Hardcore ever written building on the work of Fugazi and their ilk before them.
With Youth Insurance it’s more of a general conditioning rather than a direct influence that you hear these citations. That said, with Refused in particular, the pre- […] Shape Of Punk To Come sound of Song To Fan The Flames Of Discontent and particularly This Just Might Be… The Truth and the Everlasting EP, is certainly noticeable. Such records may well be harder to locate these days but I would thoroughly recommend that you do so if you’re a Refused fan.
In all honesty, be it slightly unprofessionally, I do often try not to scribble too much on features such as these, as large amounts of text on a computer screen can often deter a reader. However, as much as that is the truth, after an email correspondence and the listening of Youth Insurance, I knew any attempt to curb the length of my prose would be in vein.
It isn’t just the greats above you hear through Spider’s rhythmic old school Hardcore Punk, the recently retired Poison Idea can be heard in a somewhat lighter tone with ‘Telling Me’ and ‘Barcode Baby’ not only hinting that but also at what would back in the early 80’s eventually become Skate Punk.
It’s nothing but aggression in ‘Metal Detector’ with a track that captures the fury and the lyrical honesty that American Punk of that era expanded from the late 70’s UK/US origin sound. The track also sees influence from the The Germs coming through strongly, which is itself a compliment.
Before Hardcore became heavy-for-heavys sake, the faster more furious Punk sound actually began to break-in more in the way of melodic guitar lines and solos that added a real contrast to the cutting vocals and rhythm section. ‘Set Free’ is an excellent example of this and is something that Spider capture very well.
The album itself is very hard to criticise. Vocally speaking it captures the snotty almost bratty Punk snarl but also treads a heavier rage when required. The jagged riffage often subsides into a less menacing but still sharp rhythm section that is complemented further by driven and stand out melodic axe-work, that acts as a precursor to the melodic tendencies of the late 80’s and early 90’s sound
Youth Insurance has stood the test of time. It was cast aside and its creators and fans alike scattered but as is common with Punk-Rock, such ambiguity never outlasts the burning fire that Punk is borne from.
Youth Insurance is a Punk record that should have been a staple in the 80’s, it’s a record that should have been given more airtime at its inception and it’s a record that is only now getting its chance, so buckle up, immerse yourself and get ready for whatever is to come.
Find the band below:
- For updates find the band via their Facebook page.
- Youth Insurance can be found via iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify and bandcamp.