Friday, September 30, 2016

EP Review: The Spider Accomplice - Los Angeles: The Abduction

Here's a fact of life; no matter how much new music you listen to, you're going to miss out on something great. That is the case with The Spider Accomplice. Despite knowing about VK Lynne beforehand, I completely missed when her new project dropped the first installment of this triology of EPs late last year. It's a shame, since if I had heard it at the time, I would have included it in my year-end coverage, since it was the best EP of the year. It was modern rock the way it should be done; not downtuned and miserable, but intricate and melodic. Here we were able to see a band come out with an opening statement that did exactly what such a thing should do; it made me want more.

Which brings us here, to part two of the trilogy. The story continues in these six songs, which tell a story of Los Angeles that I do believe is far more bleak than the music would let on. Let's dive in, shall we?

"Bromelaid" opens things up with the kind of infectious cheer that makes it hard not to smile. The guitars have that jangle and shine that echos classic pop music, and VK spins out a melody that weaves into the fabric of the music to make a perfectly stitched earworm. There's a note at the end of each chorus where he voice leaps up into an almost squeal, but it's in a way that makes me think of a stereotypically pert and perky pettite sketch. It's an audible cue of cuteness, and I'll be damned if it doesn't work. The whole song is like that, welcoming and enticing. In addition to being a damn good song, it makes you want to hear what else they have in store for us.

"Messy Vampire" ups the energy, with a bit more of a punk flair to the bouncing rhythm, but the synths and jangling surf guitar in the background have enough vintage pop flair to recall a version of the Smiths where Morrissey wasn't an insufferable misanthrope. VK's approach is much warmer, and it allows the song to blossom as a pop nugget that will get the crowd singing along. "Behold The Day" pulls back the reigns, but only in terms of the energy. With a bubbling bass line and slashing guitar chords, it's a restrained song, but it's wonderfully melodic when the time comes. There's always something interesting going on in the music besides the guitar and bass locking into one simple, two-note riff. There's layers here that make the songs much more interesting than most bands would be able to do with these pieces.

"You Still Lie" is a song that I'm sure hits me in a different way than it does most people. I can't hear those acoustic guitars leading into that particular melody without being instantly reminded of "Kissed A Butterfly" by my favorite singer ever, Dilana. That would be enough to make it a winner, but putting back on my cloak of objectivity, the track is also another lovely pop song that is hard to resist.

"Hollywood Hotel" is the closer, and boy does it close the EP out in style. After the narration sets the stage for this scene, we get a punky number with a guitar riff that recalls The Offspring's classic, "The Kids Aren't Alright", bristling with energy and attitude. It's a good song just there, but the last minute is what makes it so, so good. The song shifts into a late-night bar sing-along, with the whole group singing along in feigned drunken revelry. That feeling comes through loud and clear, and there's a spirit that comes through that sucks you right in. It's captivating.

So here's the bottom line; The Spider Accomplice has likely just made the best EP of the year two years in a row. "Los Angeles: The Abduction" is six tracks of beautifully deep and melodic pop/rock that does more in twenty-five minutes than a lot of bands do in entire albums. Put them together, and these two EPs already make a heck of an album. Knowing there's a third part still to come means not just that we don't have to wait forever for more great music, it means that the "Los Angeles" project has the potential to be one amazing piece of music when it's fully assembled. We just got this chapter of the story, and I already can't wait to hear how it wraps up.

The Spider Accomplice continues to show they have a world of potential to become a legitimately amazing band.

Listen and buy the EP here.

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