A newer one today, Black Spiders Sons of the North, from 2011. A new band hailing from Sheffield, a city which knows a thing or two about hard rockers with an ear for a tune. I’d heard a couple of tracks on cover discs and marked them out as sones to watch, but it’s when I saw the LP cover I knew I had to own it. Voila:
I just loved all the William Morris style leaves and flowers. I was doubly impressed to learn that it had been ‘drawn, designed and crafted’ by the guitarist, Ozzy Lister. Triply impressed when I saw the poster, in which the cover picture is revealed as being only a fragment of the main image. It’s damn impressive stuff.
Black Spiders play a revved-up hard rock, which does not owe too much to all the usual suspects, they have forged their own revved-up, heavier version of blues-based rock. The first two tracks are particularly brilliant, ‘Stay Down’ (‘Stay down, stay down, stay down / Fuck you and this one horse town !’) and the even brillianter ‘KISS Tried to Kill Me’^, a tale of being hunted down and murdered in a number of exotic locations by America’s favourite rockers, which in any just and fair world would have ensured global domination for the band, how can you resist any song with a chorus of,
Kiss tried to kill me
It was Gene not Paul
Kiss tried to kill me
It wasn’t Ace’s fault
Well, what are you waiting for? buy it now! Those are my two favourites, but there are other shots of excellence in there too. ‘What Good’s a Rock Without a Roll?’ * where the band pledge to ‘Eat Thunder / Shit Lightning’ (please don’t try that at home folks), is fabulous strutting macho bravado and the chanted chain-gang opening few minutes of ‘St Peter’, which could be a rawer, more menacing cousin to Aerosmith’s ‘St John’. I also have a lot of time for the fabulously noisy ‘Medusa’s Eyes’ and ‘Si, El Diablo’ a cocksure updating of ‘Sympathy of the Devil’ and the twin guitar heroics on ‘Man’s Ruin’.
There’s not a great deal more to write except I looked them up on the web for the firt time when I was listening to all this last night. The interesting thing is that their next LP is being funded by pledges, I had heard of various bands (Marillion and Ginger Wildheart spring to mind) doing this but had never really checked it out before. Black Spiders, I’m pleased to report have approached the whole thing with very creditable wit and invention. You can pledge £8 and get a download of the new LP, or more for a signed copy, the vinyl LP, your name in the credits, tickets for pledger only gigs, a spot in their next video, exclusive art prints and my favourite of all – a brewery tour and a paintballing trip with the band!
I’ll make you all a pledge right here and now, when I am eventually elected King of the World all bands/artists will be legally required to go paintballing with 20 of their fans picked at random before they are allowed to release anything. How cool would that be? ambushed by Beyonce, bushwacked by Bon Iver, or just the chance to stalk Cliff Richard? sign me up now!
Me? it was payday so I signed up for signed vinyl and a gig ticket for Manchester and I’m really looking forward to both.
Good, clever band of rockers, these.
^you know you want it LeBrain!
*Def Leppard will be kicking themselves for letting that one get away.