We’re fast approaching two years of this shit. Two years. Are things getting better? Is the worst behind us? Probably. Have the past two years scarred our collective psyche, scrambled our collective brains, thrown our collective lives into a howling maelstrom of confusion and chaos? Most definitely.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit much. Still, chaos is a good thing to keep in mind while listening to Spoy. The young Milwaukee band (Jack Lange, Harrison Willow, Keegan Phillips, Graham Collings) recently released its debut album, From The Three. It’s a nine-track screed of noisy, discordant, and knotty music perfect for our noisy, discordant, and knotty times.
Opener “Cursed Rubble” is a blistering mission statement: guitars screech and skronk, cymbals crash and sizzle, the bass bubbles and percolates, and the vocals soar and crack. “Gabe” flexes the band’s math-y muscles and injects them with some good ol’ fashioned throat-rendering screams. The six-minute “Oval” is an impressively sprawling and unpredictable song that somehow dips its toes into both speed and sludge metal. Not to be outdone, eight-minute closer “Water Wings” seems to veer off in different and increasingly dangerous directions every few seconds. The menacing “Basement Creeper,” meanwhile, spikes the album with some dark spoken-word humor. (Is Spoy the first and only band to growl/scream the word “bologna”? It’s likely.)
Chaos may reign on From The Three, but beauty occasionally makes an appearance. Passages of “Water Wings” shine with tender vocals and haunted harmonies. “Marrow” is a mostly restrained prog-rock excursion complete with a lovely, Radiohead-esque middle. (“Drink from the pond / That’s an order, that’s an order.”) Yes, those moments are buried in noise and confusion, and yes, those moments can be hard to find. But they can be found, and they can be unearthed. That’s something to keep in mind while listening to Spoy, too.
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