Little Claw

Spit and Squalor Swallow the Snow

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AllMusic Review by

Little Claw’s second album, Spit and Squalor Swallow the Snow, was also the last they recorded before they moved from Detroit to Portland, and it has ghostly traces of the Motor City all over it. The band recorded these songs in the living room of Outrageous Cherry’s Matthew Smith, and while Little Claw’s noise-punk experiments are miles away from Smith’s flawless psych pop, he gives the proceedings warmth and intimacy. There’s also an undeniable Detroit swagger to the band’s rockers, whether it’s the warped garage punk of “Movies for You” or “Wayward Chief” and “Shoplifting Cart Pt. 2,” both of which put the squall back in Squalor. Kilynn Lunsford’s vocals also have plenty of spit and spite, recalling Mecca Normal’s Jean Smith and the Magik MarkersElisa Ambrogio on the noise-punk mantra “Hobo Baby, or Zeus” and a more grown-up version of Be Your Own Pet’s Jemina Pearl on “Brackish Stratum”’s wild racket. Little Claw go in even farther-flung directions on “Prickly Pear”’s witchy blues-folk and “Polar Bear”’s dirge-pop -- these songs are so all over the place that it’s not a surprise that Little Claw focused their sound more once they left Detroit. Regardless, Spit and Squalor Swallow the Snow is a fine document of Little Claw at this point in their career.

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