Spiders – Shake Electric
Released by: Spinefarm Records
Released on: November 4th, 2014.
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Do you like rock n roll? If so, you’ll probably dig Spiders. They released their first album, Flashpoint, in 2012 and now, two years later, they’ve offered up their latest recording, appropriately titled Shake Electric. Hailing from Sweden, the band is made up of Ann-Sofie Hoyles on vocals, John Hoyles on guitar, Olle Griphammar on bass and Ricard Harryson on drums and Shake Electric continues the band’s tradition of providing a seriously catchy mix of seventies rock mixed up with early punk inspired noise. Think of the band as a mix of The Runaways, The Dictators and Kiss and you’re not going to be far off the mark.
So yeah, this second album starts off with Mad Dog, a quick two and a half minute track that kicks down the door nicely and pretty much works as a declaration of intent: Spiders are here to rock, they’re not screwing around. The title track, the longest track on the album, is more of the same. It’ll make you want to dance a bit, get your ass shaking and your fist pumping and you’ll be singing along in no time. Bleeding Heart continues what the first two songs commit to, just solid guitar-heavy riffing, a little bit of soloing to show off what these guys can do, killer bass and drums and Hoyles’ vocals hitting the right level of sexy, sultry and bad ass.
Only You Skin and Lonely Nights both channel early Kiss in great ways but mix in some glam influences, T-Rex and Bowie in his prime both factor in here. Back On The Streets is a stand out track for Harryson’s drumming skills, as he keeps the rhythm just as he should but spices things up a bit with some cowbell. It’s hard to overdo it on the cowbell, it just works here. Things get a little faster and a bit more aggressive with Control. The guitars are fast, chunky and just full of riffing but there’s some quality soloing here too – not too much, not enough to get pretentious (this band is anything but pretentious, they bring it down to a very basic, primal level in a lot of ways) but enough to let you know that, yeah, John Holyes has got some pretty serious skills.
As the album comes towards its close, Give Up The Fight slows things down just a little bad. It’s hardly a ballad but it does have a sort of ‘mid-tempo rocker’ feel to it. You can definitely hear the influence of seventies era Heart here, it’s sort of got a Barracuda vibe to it. The band slows things down even more on Hard Times, which is definitely the song to show off Hoyles’ diversity as a vocalist. Her range here is very impressive, at times channeling almost a Janis Joplin style but without going over the top, which would have ruined an otherwise very soulful song. This isn’t the one to put on when you want to live it up, it’s a bit of a crooner, really, but it’s nicely done.
The album finishes off with War Of The World, which once again brings us back to pure, unfiltered rock n roll territory. It’s fast, it’s a bit raw, it’s got great playing and strong vocals and it serves as a great way to close the record, a really fun collection of songs that are nigh-impossible not to have fun with. These guys have got a throwback/retro style to be sure, but they do what they do really well. Here’s hoping they’re around for a long time to come.
And a video for Mad Dog!