The readymade entertainment to grace any Wickerman like pagan ritual or meeting of The Monster Club, The Spider Hole unveil a new carnival of dark deeds and imagination prowling adventures under the guise of To the Monsters. The band casts the listener into the heart of gothic tales and creature stalked escapades across the album’s eleven frightmares, each as compelling and arousing as another and all leaving these ears lustfully desperate for plenty more such devilish trespasses.
Hailing out of Phoenix, Arizona, The Spider Hole create a unique and fascinating sound which beguiled as it surprised with its inherent unpredictability within a voracious rock ‘n’ roll heart across To The Monsters. Inspirations to the band are said to include the likes of Tom Waits, Oingo Boingo, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Primus, The Pixies, Frank Zappa, and The Doors; some of which can be openly sensed within the lure of songs. To that we would suggest there are essences that remind of bands such as Helldorado, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, and even more so at times Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers but all spices in a proposition fiercely individual to The Spider Hole.
A mere breath was all it took for our ears and imagination to be coaxed into life as opener Werewolf Biker Bastard cast swarthy sighs of guitar, Kilen continuing to entice with strands of melodic intimation as the growl of vocalist Ethan Scott began its dark narrative. Keys add to the prelude of the adventure before things erupt into a tenacious stroll with its own eager swagger. Sweltering psych springs colour the climate of intimation as bold rhythms continue to prowl amidst the infectious landscape of suggestion and animation.
The outstanding start to the album is in many ways just an appetiser to things to come, each song setting out its own individual web of craft, magnetism, and dark endeavour as epitomised by next up Still Draw Breath, a slab of primal yet deviously designed rock ‘n’ roll with a blues lining to its rise through dank cold earth. The bass of XerXes Quinn is again a predatory lure easy to succumb to as equally the biting incitement of drummer Bobby Blades; the body secured in their trap as guitar and vocals take care of the imagination with their individual tales. With a Misfits-esque draw to its holler, the track just steals self-control like a puppeteer, bones jerking to his incitement as vocal chords eagerly joined with Scott in the track’s voracious carousing.
Hungover at the Eel God Festival is a far calmer yet almost predacious proposition and it too left body and throat subservient to the thick web of temptation it casts with unscrupulous craft. There is menace in its heart and air to equal the seduction in its sound and stomp, band and album continuing to lead us on a salacious dance before Rock, Your Body sprung its own skilful scheming across a pop fuelled, virulently contagious rock ‘n’ roll saunter. An element of enterprise and contagiousness reminding a touch of Black Space Raiders on their last couple of albums only adds to the increasingly raucous and thrilling emprise of sound and manipulation.
The glorious fevered ballad of Chomp-Chomp is next to ignite the senses and passions, its calling swiftly becoming a boisterous blend of fifties inspired rock ‘n’ roll and Rocky Horror theatre and simply inescapably addictive while The Goat Witch of Cornman Road commands the same rich attention with matching prowess through its crepuscular serenade woven upon a skeleton of big rhythms coated in vocal passion and bound in the sonic and melodic intimation escaping guitar and keys. Both songs simply bewitched though they are still slightly eclipsed by the mighty cavort of The Leviathan Stomp. Bestial yet agile in its dynamics and twists, the track as to be honest all, simply had us gripped in its temptation soaked hands.
The cinematic fears of Devil By a Nail initiate a lively shuffle of funk and psych rock eagerness next, the song casting its own Machiavellian enterprise to enslave ears and involvement before The People Who Come Out of the Ceiling creeps into the psyche where it seduces with a tantalising and mesmeric croon with volatility in dark heart. At certain moments Scott’s ever riveting presence and tones are joined by the delicious lure of female vocals though we cannot give a name to their siren whilst in sound the song simply stalks and prowls with rapacious desire; it all together uniting for our favourite moment within the album.
Night of the Nighty-Night Slasher completes the plethora of ghastly tales, its blood strewn romp a tempestuous roar of Ripper like goodness bringing To The Monsters to a mighty and ravenously rousing close.
There are times when we are truly bowled over and lustfully devour the exploitation of our inherent weakness for rabidly inventive but organically hearted rock ‘n’ roll however it is designed and To The Monsters stamps down one of those; an instinctive love of creepy tales and horror fuelled rascality only added extra icing on the pleasure The Spider Hole has undoubtedly unleashed.
To the Monsters is out now across most stores.
Pete RingMaster 11/07/2019
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright