It’s no secret that I am a big fan of enigmatic Welsh musical anomaly Spider Kitten. I’ve reviewed them several times, interviewed main man Chi Lameo and even fortunate enough to have witnessed one of their rare live shows when supporting Pallbearer and Yob on their UK tour (review). So when it was announced, via the band’s Facebook page, they were dropping a surprise EP in the middle of the current UK Coronavirus lockdown, my ears perked up at the prospect of more intriguing material from the mercurial bunch.
Over the years Spider Kitten, and Lameo’s solo releases, have churned out at a phenomenal rate to the point that when they posted their discography up, I was actually shocked at how much I didn’t have and I don’t exactly consider myself a casual fan. What is even more amazing is that this latest EP isn’t some self-isolation collaboration born out of boredom; it was in fact recorded some 5 years ago and has just been sat around on a hard drive until the opportunity arose.
As a result of this time anomaly, the recording predates the seismic shift in landscape that was 2016’s Ark Of Octofelis (review), where the band morphed their sound considerably further again in their ever changing musical landscape. As such this is a curious effort that sits in between the Norse doom flavoured 3 tracker Behold Mountain, Hail Sea, Venerate Sky, Bow Before Tree (review) from 2014 and 2015’s Americana themed Toker EP (review) and still stylistically, Acidgoatweedwitchbongspacewizardwhore shows yet another side to their influences.
‘Cause I Can’t is a fuzzed out, lo-fi grunge rocker channelling prime Bleach and latter In Utero era Nirvana. The dirty low end bass rumbles (courtesy of Matt from Grave Lines), the Sub Pop buzzsaw sounding guitars, discordant vocals and simple refrains drenched in feedback show off the DIY punk spirit that Spider Kitten embody, which almost speaks directly to the nature of this release. Having gotten used to a more sweeping doom take on their music, it is nice short sharp shock to kick the dust off their ‘older’ sound.
If the first track was the acerbic snarl of Nirvana, the second track is the drugged out chaos of late Alice In Chains put through a filter of Pallbearer…
The Wizard’s Hat is return to more familiar territory as huge Sabbath style riffs stumble in at half speed and the drums seem to operate in a jazz like freestyle, contrasting the simplicity of the guitars. The vocals are soaring harmonies and spoken words that link the second and first tracks in the Grunge era influence. If the first track was the acerbic snarl of Nirvana, the second track is the drugged out chaos of late Alice In Chains put through a filter of Pallbearer.
The third and final track is savage blast through GG Allin’s Bite It You Scum. Played with the same distorted fuzz that unites this EP, it’s a richer, thicker, more metal sounding version which, if I am going to be totally honest, I prefer to the original but I’m not here to tip over any scared cows. This track should also be noted for featuring one Paul Catten (Murder One, Medulla Nocte, Stuntcock) on the gang chorus backing vocals.
Acidgoatweedwitchbongspacewizardwhore is a fun listen, I mean, just look at the title, which gives you a clue. And At 11 minutes long, it isn’t going to trouble your day to check it out, especially under these conditions, and as ever is available from the Spider Kitten bandcamp page at the generous Name Your Price option.
Is it a vital Spider Kitten release? No. Is it the greatest thing they have done? No, for that you need to listen to the Ark Of Octofelis; but to apply a sense of perspective, this EP is an insight into the midst of the musicians five years ago and three tunes you didn’t have yesterday. With the being said The Wizard’s Hat alone for me is worth the price of admission and is probably my new favourite track from the band right now. Check it out though and let’s face it, if you don’t like it, they’ll probably release something else by the time this is all over.
Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden