2013 seems to be the year to get out of hiatus with bands such as Fall Out Boy and The Fratellis coming out of their own respected breaks. After an entire 9 year hiatus, it’s Australia’s own Spiderbait that’s back in business with their self-titled 7th studio album Spiderbait. Formed all the way back in 1989, the Finley rockers last played in the air waves with their sixth studio album, Tonight Alive with their #1 hit cover of Ram Jam’s Black Betty in 2004. For any fans out there wondering what this album is like, rest assure it’s not anything like a comeback record or a form of a Best Of or Greatest Hits compilation. Their extensive break was just that, a really long time out. The band never broke up and this album actually took 3 years in the making.
There’s been a recent move into the whole ‘electronic’ phase in music, the whole spicks and specks of synthesised rhythms and riffs seeming like the way of the future, and that’s exactly where Spiderbait is heading. Acting as if the band has been here the entire time, they’re album feels so modern and refreshing despite the fact that the band hasn’t released any new music for almost decade.
Songs that highlight the cosmic vibes are It’s Beautiful and Supersonic, where Janet’s vocals take centre stage. A magical, mystical atmosphere is created through lyrics that seem to float through echoing harmonies, digitalised guitar riffs and a solid beat in It’s Beautiful, and her voice is shows of a sense of elegance as it layers with the instrumental accompaniment. However in Supersonic her smooth vocals feel as if they’re looming over the constant rolling of the drums and synth work, with Kram saying that ‘I think Janet’s singing on this album is wow!’.
While the electronic atmosphere seems to linger throughout the entire album, Spiderbait’s rugged ruckus is still present. The heavy distorted sound that listeners have come to love is in songs like Straight Through The Sun and Miss The Boat. The combination of pounding drums, rumbling guitar riffs and muffled vocals brings you back to the days of their old hits like Shazam!, Tremelo and Buy Me A Pony.
Other stand out tracks of the album include The Sun Will Come Shining purely because of the optimism that shines through as soon as the song starts, and Mars because of how good Spiderbait sounds acoustic.
As the album ends with the farewell track Goodbye, I think it’s safe to say this won’t be the end for Spiderbait. With such an energetic record, Spiderbait shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. And while they should definitely get ready to be embraced by their legion of fans this year, 2014 is going to be the big one. If you do the math next year will be the trio of Janet, Kram and Damien will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary. An entire quarter of a century as a band, and they still manage to keep making some amazing head-banging tunes. Keep rocking, Spiderbait!