With a middle finger proudly raised to your shmuck and the mundane lifestyle they idly peddle, Sleaze, theatrical and sometimes dark and horror Punk-as-fuck Hard/Glam rock(abilly) as well as Heavy metal heroes from Surrey have returned amped to shove Metal right up all tight asses with their 2nd full-length; this state-of-the-art album was produced by Grammy-nominated Chris Tsangarides (Angra, Anthem, Baron Rojo, Biomechanical, Black Sabbath, Bianco Diablo, Briar Rose, Chemicals Of Democracy, Comsat Angels, Depeche Mode, King Diamond, Bruce Dickinson, Exodus, Ian Gillan, Glyder, Helloween, Hex, Killing Joke, King Lizard, Loudness, Yngwie Malmsteen, Gary Moore, Mountain, New Model Army, Overkill, The Prime Movers, Rock Goddess, Fear Of God, Savage Messiah, Sinner, Thin Lizzy, Tigertailz, T.N.T., Tokyo Blade, Wretched Soul, Y & T, Stonebringer, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, LunarMile, The Strawbs, Dave Cosuins, Anvil, Tygers Of Pan Tang, and a bunch of other bands or artists dealing with Rock, Heavy Metal or Pop), thanks to the diy ethic of the successful alternative T-shirt line 'Smell Your Mum', which earned the two band founders enough funds for the recording after the company creation 10 years ago. Also, the very self-designed and hand screen-printed clothing line caught Motley Crue's Tommy Lee's attention and saw the band featured in major publications such as Bizarre Magazine and Skin Deep. One more respect to be stressed out is the provocative, flamboyant performances that brought Spit Like This to share the stage of Wacken and other minor fests or venues with The New York Dolls, Alice Cooper and Twisted Sister, as well as heavier heavyweights the likes of Iron Maiden or even Slayer. It is reported that their live shows are worth the ticket, and they're four friendly people you can chat with who'll never treat you as if they were on a pedestal. I myself plead guilty of having grown grumpy over the years, but listening to them has removed a 20-year burden from my soul. And if you don't believe my hype, at least keep in mind they were voted one of the top ten highlights of Hard Rock Hell III, while the Kerrang! readers voted them number eight in the best unsigned category. This cannot be a fortuitous event!
After a couple of line-up variations, they're back on the producer's own recently-establised label, currently describing themselves as the unholy matrimony of The Cramps and The Damned in a sleazier metallic re-write of The Rocky Horror Picture Show hosted by Robin Black. No cheesy, manufactured, flavour-of-the-month Rockabilly, just the unbastardised, in-your-face spirit of Rock and Roll, fists up and ready to rrrumble.
As for the lyrics, there's an array of topics: being sick of liars, thieves, critics, attitude control toward widespread mediocrity (the title track's words are the best of the album to my mind, explaining its attack on conformity); and the list goes with fast driving, spoilt greedy people, the erotic fantasy about a teen angel turned to a whore, a suicide kid dealing with a girl's aloofness, picking up the wrong guy again, gossip and rumours, the end of a relation due to a narcistic partner. The four-piece returns with the aim of conquering everyone's likes with a hidden concept album; as a matter of fact, even though they don't claim it, the link connecting all of the compositions is tilting the spotlight on outsiders' feelings and experiences.
Less Goth than the debut and with a new guitarist in the place of Cyndi Rott, "Normalityville Horror" starts with "Sick", showing a "Painkiller" roll-like and vocals between The Damned's Dave Vanian and The Cult's Ian Astbury, and a crushing guitar sound, not only in the slow break; the loud and clear riffs and the licks are the main characters along with a shower of vocal styles and effects. The impression is even stronger with the following tribal title track. A Punk acceleration and tight structures prepare for the irresistible chorus a couple of times before an original axe solo, which is rare in this album, ravaging from several discographies, blending and spewing the result as somewhat already heard but not within a certain musical plot, the way it happens here.
Accompanied by a video, "Zero to Sixty", has slight-to-moderate effects: from making your feet and necks swing to an unstoppable will of diving into a slamdance, no matter how big and tall one is. Warning: playing this song while driving will cause you to ram the accelerator pedal to the floor. No tickets are covered by the Brits.
I have no doubts in stating you that "Very Very Good at Being Bad" is the album's peak, maybe owing to the tough main riff, or probably because Lord Zion's vocals display all his tonal range skimming perfection and delivering an avalanche of diverse moods like only the best poets could.
The 50s Rockabilly is actualized and vitaminized in "Dragged Kicking & Screaming", but fans of The Ramones and the likes are gonna dig it, too. Same happens with "Teen Angel", with the difference that fans of Metallica's "Load" and "Reload" are bound to find riffs in sympathy with their musical philosophy.
"The Life & Times of the Suicide Kid"is opened by old Great White rifferama before the vocals bring us to different soundscapes. There's also a speed-up and a real Metal bridge to spice the recipe, lifting a veil on what arrangement Rob Riot can furnish when he's free to give his contribution without brakes.
No sane non-deaf person can resist the mesmerizing facades of "Oh No! Here We Go", a sheer musical Viagra pill that everybody's supposed to take once a week. Ya bet your boots!
The palm of heaviest song goes to "The Dumb Song", with skinbeater Vile and bass player Vikki supplying the appropriate foundations for the Pantera-like guitar intervention, whereas "Dead to Me Now" includes the most obsessive refrain and proves to be the most dynamic song with all its ups and downs. A rollercoaster of emotions destined to be requested in a loud voice during the British combo's next gigs, masterfully concluded by Bonhamiam drumming.
Poking fun around and aware of their condition, shared by me and many others, Spit Like This have come back with ten tracks of Horror Glam Punk concocted with Metal riffs, and enriched by an eccentric twist, rife with easy, yet effective structures; this modern Rocky Horror Picture Show and Grease hybrid melted and extremized has drawn comparisons owing to similarities or brief references within their songs here and there with the following in no particular order: early Motley Crue, Dogs D'Amour, Faster Pussycat, Tigertailz, T-Rex, Adam & The Ants, Madam X, Wolfsbane, early Poison, Twisted Sister, The NY Dolls, Lords Of The New Church, Goddamn Whores, The Misfits, The Ramones, The Cramps, The Damned, The Dwarves, The Cult, The 69 Eyes, Neils Children, Billy Idol, Alice Cooper, Marylin Manson, The Wildhearts, Elvis Presley, The Queen, Rob Zombie, mid-career Metallica, Pantera, and I'm sure I'm missing some more names.
If NASA could send out just one record to be a standard-bearer of Metal and Rock to outer space, it damn well better be this album!
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - November 30, 2012