Spider Bags

Someday Everything Will Be Fine

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Five albums into their career, Spider Bags are sounding a little less punk and a bit more rock on 2018's Someday Everything Will Be Fine. There's a large helping of fuzzy, garage-leaning guitar-mauling here, these folks haven't abandoned their occasional detours into formless noise, and the music continues to wear an audible sneer. But just as on 2014's Frozen Letter, these sessions find the band sounding tighter and more confident than ever before, with just a dollop of slop to keep things swinging but a sharper overall focus that helps these tunes connect with a solid wallop. Dan McGee and Gregg Levy's guitars boast plenty of swaggering force, while the rhythm section of bassist Steve Oliva and drummer Rock Forbes is full of drive, keeping the songs in fourth gear while adding just enough color and shade to the proceedings. (Andrew McCalla's rich but unfussy audio is an excellent match for this material.) Judging from "Cop Dream/Black Eye (True Story)," Spider Bags still play their old hardcore singles every now and then, but the country-stained lament of "My Heart Is a Flame in Reverse," the easy-drifting psychedelia of "Apocalypso," and the bent-but-not-broken hard rock of "Reckless" give a clearer picture of the band's range these days. The personality of this music retains its insouciant edge as it gains a bit more precision, and as a lyricist, Dan McGee has learned to write songs that deal with his own life rather than the misadventures of others, and "Oxcart Blues," "Alligator," and "Tonight, I Walk on the Water" are street-smart and revealing at the same time. (His melodies are nothing to sneeze at, either.) Someday Everything Will Be Fine is an object lesson in how maturity and progress don't have to be the enemies of snarky, passionate rock & roll, and this is music that satisfies on several levels at once.

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