Misconceptions. Rhubarb Bomb works hard to promote
During Rob’s period at the helm, Rhubarb Bomb released a compilation. My old band appeared on it, alongside many others, including The Spills. Since the tailend of 2007, my band split, side projects were formed and duly split or ignored. I started a record label, disbanded a record label and then restarted it 2 years later. I started writing for RB and then took control – it’s been two years now. I met a girl, fell in love and we’ve lived together for 3 years. It’s been a hectic time. One constant in all that time has been The Spills. Same lineup, just getting better, slowly but surely. The sick thing is, the part that blows MY mind is that they only finished Uni this summer. How they manage that?
Recorded mainly over two days, live on to 2 inch tape, it perfectly captures the wonderful energy of a live band. The drums ring and smash wonderfully. The bass rattles along, the guitars, clean as summer streams or raw as horse flesh sushi, fly out of the speakers, directly into your frontal lobe. But don’t be mistaken, it’s not a live cut of the band. So much care has been taken over every detail. Flourishes appear all over, little harmonies, breaks; it’s a great sounding record.
Things open with the lovely ‘Lockets’. A step on from last year’s opener ‘Fish Eye Lens’ (from Smoke Signals EP) it begins in a relaxed, laid back pose, as Guitarist / Singer Chad warmly draws us in, with an engaging, up close feel reminiscent of Russell from The Research. A couple of minutes in, the more familiar scream of singer Rob Slater arrives and all hell breaks loose; anthemic, bittersweet hell. This moment of interplay between
Special moments are plentiful on this record. ‘Summer Vibes’ – wisely chosen as the free download prior to the albums release – is symptomatic of The Spills great leap forward. Equally hook filled pop and hard rocking melancholy it encapsulates the dusk of childhood summers disappearing into an unknown future; at once terrifying and thrilling. ‘Heat Death of The Universe’ channels some ‘In Utero’ heaviness for it’s grand opening and ‘
As with Runaround Kids, also on Philophobia Music, I am equal parts pleased, surprised and impressed that a debut album has been released that is this well formed and thought out. It’s a true ‘record’ – meaning it ebbs and flows over its running order. It has hidden moments, it has immediate rushes; it is effortless yet honed to perfection. Yet this shouldn’t be a surprise because though this is their debut, these four people have been playing together for an awful long time. They have worked their craft. The sense of four people in a room coming together and creating something great is palpable. Each plays their part. On some tracks I would say the drums are almost the lead instrument. It’s a perfect balance of musicianship that adds additional layers of sensed excitement, as well as emotion to the overall experience.
So how did a