Spider Bags – Someday Everything Will Be Fine (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 38:27 minutes | 449 MB | Genre: Alternative
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Bandcamp | Front Cover | © Merge Records
Four years after releasing their Merge debut, Frozen Letter, Spider Bags return with an LP that ascends to new levels of aural punch and perspective. The years that elapsed between records were crucial in enabling that progress to take place.
Recorded in Memphis at Bunker Audio by Andrew McCalla, Someday Everything Will Be Fine leverages the limitations and glory of the Tascam 388, a vintage recording/mixing device that’s acquired a mythos via its association with legendary records by Dinosaur Jr. and others. Unlike the error-erasing editing software Spider Bags frontman Dan McGee has favored in the past, the Tascam’s charms are more immediate, and it has a visceral resonance all its own.
Someday Everything Will Be Fine, which is about the importance of saying f**k it and dancing to a rock and roll record, is an album only Spider Bags could make.
Five albums into their career, Spider Bags are sounding a little less punk and a bit more rock on 2018’s Someday Everything Will Be Fine. There’s a large helping of fuzzy, garage-leaning guitar-mauling here, these folks haven’t abandoned their occasional detours into formless noise, and the music continues to wear an audible sneer. But just as on 2014’s Frozen Letter, these sessions find the band sounding tighter and more confident than ever before, with just a dollop of slop to keep things swinging but a sharper overall focus that helps these tunes connect with a solid wallop. Dan McGee and Gregg Levy’s guitars boast plenty of swaggering force, while the rhythm section of bassist Steve Oliva and drummer Rock Forbes is full of drive, keeping the songs in fourth gear while adding just enough color and shade to the proceedings. (Andrew McCalla’s rich but unfussy audio is an excellent match for this material.) Judging from “Cop Dream/Black Eye (True Story),” Spider Bags still play their old hardcore singles every now and then, but the country-stained lament of “My Heart Is a Flame in Reverse,” the easy-drifting psychedelia of “Apocalypso,” and the bent-but-not-broken hard rock of “Reckless” give a clearer picture of the band’s range these days. The personality of this music retains its insouciant edge as it gains a bit more precision, and as a lyricist, Dan McGee has learned to write songs that deal with his own life rather than the misadventures of others, and “Oxcart Blues,” “Alligator,” and “Tonight, I Walk on the Water” are street-smart and revealing at the same time. (His melodies are nothing to sneeze at, either.) Someday Everything Will Be Fine is an object lesson in how maturity and progress don’t have to be the enemies of snarky, passionate rock & roll, and this is music that satisfies on several levels at once.
2. My Heart Is a Flame in Reverse
3. Oxcart Blues
4. Tonight, I Walk on the Water
6. Ninety Day Dog
7. Burning Sand
9. Cop Dream / Black Eye (True Story)
10. Rollin’ With the Flow