The Spits

Kill the Kool

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At their best, the Spits sound like the Ramones with one of the guys from Devo sitting in on synth, with everything that description entails. The melodies are catchy but dirt-simple, the forward movement is relentless, the vocals are flat but emphatic and spit out with commendable enthusiasm (even if they're not big on enunciation), and clouds of electronic noise are invariably either hovering on the horizon or sweeping in like a heavy storm. If the Spits have a clearly defined formula, well, you could say the same of the Ramones (and plenty of other great bands, punk and otherwise), and the Spits' master plan seems to serve them pretty well on their sixth album, Kill the Kool. The Spits roar through 22 songs in 41 minutes on Kill the Kool, and as the numbers suggest, these guys do not waste time, whether they're serving up a high-tech but lo-fi assault with "Terrorist Attack," bashing their guitars into dust on "She Don't Kare," or trying to get a really weird party started on "Hit the Dead." And as stripped-down and elemental as this music may be, the Spits make it sound full-bodied and full of texture, sometimes goofy, sometimes angry, and sometimes actually heartfelt. Like their obvious heroes, the Spits are a lot smarter than they want you to believe, and their lo-fi rumble satisfies as an easily portable riot or a rock & roll call to arms. Just add beer, and Kill the Kool is a frantic punk rock fiesta just waiting to happen.

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