Spider & the Flies

Something Clockwork This Way Comes

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On a break from wreaking garage-punk havoc with the Horrors, keyboardist Spider Webb and bassist Tomethy Furse reinvented themselves as Moog droogs Spider & the Flies on Something Clockwork This Way Comes. Given that the Horrors' biggest influences -- which include Joe Meek, Screaming Lord Sutch, and the Syndicats -- are at least a few decades old, it's not a surprise that Webb and Furse know a thing or two about vintage electronic music as well. Throughout these seven songs, the pair get outlandish sounds out of their synths and pay homage to electronic experimentalists like Wendy Carlos, Delia Derbyshire, and the rest of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop composers; "Desmond Leslie" is an aptly metallic, clanking tribute to the musique concrète artist and sci-fi writer. Webb and Furse's Meek worship continues with "Jungle Planet," which, with its exotica-tinged drums and radar-like synths, sounds like a kissing cousin to I Hear a New World's alien field recordings, which, like Something Clockwork This Way Comes, was also a concept album about visiting other planets. Spider & the Flies are aided and abetted by producer Barry 7, whose late, great group Add N to (X) is also a major influence on the duo. The album's centerpiece, "Metallurge," which 7 co-wrote, fizzes, buzzes, and growls like one of his former band's wonderfully short-circuiting contraptions. As it unfolds, Something Clockwork moves from spacy heights like "Million Volt Light" and "Space Walking" -- a track whose whistling synths could announce the arrival of the TARDIS -- to the dancefloor beats of the vaguely industrial "Teslabeat" and "Autochrome," which pays homage to more recent inspirations like Juan Atkins. Though Something Clockwork This Way Comes feels like Spider & the Flies are walking in the shoes of their influences, they pay their respects ably and entertainingly, and if nothing else, it shows the pair has great taste.

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