Spider Bags

A Celebration of Hunger

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Coming off like a backwoods Paul Westerberg, Spider Bags' Dan McGee lets the world know his priorities: drink, song, then women. Making the most of his North Carolina heritage, McGee channels the whiskey-soaked greats of country and blues and pounds them into a garage rock sour mash. On the fuck-it-all anthem "Waking Up Drunk," which manages to channel the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers" (a tongue-in-cheek faux-country limey rant, which is ironic since there's no doubt of McGee's own sincerity) he sums up his philosophy in the couplet: "Waking up drunk makes me happy/maybe you just bring me down." Americana-afflicted indie rock is the jump-off point on A Celebration of Hunger, as the Spider Bags at times evoke a less pedantic Pavement or a less angular Archers of Loaf, and they also reference the greats of the genre from the '80s like Dumptruck, Souled American and the Meat Puppets, but you won't find a shred of urbanity on this collection of bloozy barnburners. Case in point: the slide guitar stomp of "Alphabet City Blues" is more Son House than smirking hipster. The punky energy on the up-tempo numbers is more hoe down than moshpit, and the ballads are pure booze-drenched back country laments. And McGee's lyrical imagery is one of a kind, like the barfly on the stool next to you who spins unsolicited yarns that you can't stop listening to: "She got a crooked face when she smiles...she got a dog named after Ike Turner..." from "It's You," one of many lo-fi ditties here that are chock-full of the charm of classic barroom singalongs. Avoiding the hangover (and the pain inflicted by heartless women) by staying drunk is not a lifestyle to be attempted by amateurs; luckily, McGee seems to have more than his share of the requisite experience.

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