Listen Up: Wednesday, September 3, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Spiders

Glitzkrieg (Acetate Records)

By Ken Shimamoto

Disappointment of the week: This c.d. is neither the work of the sterling Japanese “group sounds” outfit of the same name from the ’60s, nor an undiscovered treasure from the Nuggets-era Arizona garage-punk Spiders who wound up morphing into Alice Cooper. Rather, it’s the sophomore disc from a quartet of Austinites. (I favor replacing that city’s lame “America’s Live Music Capital®” slogan with something more accurate, like “Where Soap Is Optional.”)

Glitzkrieg arrived replete with glowing hype from Anthony Mariani’s “uncle,” Chuck Eddy of The Village Voice, which might lead an unsuspecting reviewer to assume that these guys are something like an American Turbonegro (who’ll play Dallas’ Gypsy Tea Room on Sept. 28 — you’ve been warned). Even the c.d.’s title sounds like a product of Happy Tom’s sick mind. On paper, it works fine: ’70s Big Rock plus glam equals good dirty fun, right?

Except that these guys don’t have the goods. They appear on their c.d. slick decked out in white as if they were the Polyphonic Spree or something. (Could this be a sop to the almighty Brit music press, who ate up the Spree — God bless ’em — as if the band were covered in chocolatey Nutello?) The bass player even sports one of those sweatband things around his head, which would work fine if he were Bjorn Borg — he’s not.

The Spiders’ leaden, sub-Sabbath heavy riffage sounds as if it’s emanating from under layers of cotton wool. Singer Christopher Benedict’s falsetto is weak, and when he tries appropriating the Cramps’ corny shock-horror shtick, it falls flat. All in all, listening to this disc makes me yearn for the return of dear, departed Dentonites Dead Sexy, who had a better idea of how to dress for this kind of party, were funnier, and rocked harder to boot.


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