posted on 6/2008 By:
Spitfire spit fire, spit water, and vomit out paragraphs of pent-up anger in accusatory tones. Believably.
If you're not gonna break the mold, then bury it, and piss on it. They left with a shovel (previous output Self Help), and then came back having taken names (Cult Fiction). But I still haven't heard what got their goat in the first place (aka 1999 debut The Dead Next Door), and I need to get on that. As for typecasting, you can call it "metal-core" if you define "core" as something more along the lines of "the center", as in "getting to the heart of it", and not so much in reference to HC posturing. I prefer to call it Tourette's Metal, akin to the pure outbursts of bands like Deadguy, Craw, Dazzling Killmen, etc. Gut reaction, little mathematics, but not for a lack of intelligence. It's a choice, not a handicap. They comfortably tread the middle ground between pretentious angles and straight-lined barbarianism by playing in the pocket to persuade, not for individual recognition. Bless this unselfishness. This is not totally surprising considering this lineup is comprised of sewn together bits and pieces of Scarlet, Norma Jean, and....ahem....Mae. Ok, so we've got one influence here that does not have a pulse that hits the ceiling, and there is a cool breeze in this hell. From whichever direction it comes from, it seems to be a necessary trait in the Spitfire forecast. Now whether or not Mae's pop-rock tendencies held any stock in their leanings to the left, I can't say, but it's what I've got to work with, and it's what they're working quite well with. Not at all to force dead-ringer-for-Deadguy angst spewers like "The Animal Kingdom Of Heaven's Gate" into the shadows, as Spitfire frontguy John Spencer does an admirable Tim Singer impersonation, and the whole outfit in general does the Deadguy legacy justice. If you were emotionally touched, as I, by those Purveyors of Pissed back in '95, then Spitfire will constantly supply you with ammo to set your guns blazing, no doubt, but focus should equally be given to their sounds of submission as well. It's not all martyrdom on Cult Fiction. There's a candied innocence in Spencer's Josh Homme-isms during the Queens Of The Stone Age-ish quasi-chorus of "Arrhythmia Drift", tambourine and all, but make no mistake, this lead-off track is quick to extend fist to face and then retract with entrails in grip. "Apnea 1" is an inclination toward a trendful Isis/Peli-core trip, but it's so, so convincing. If I had three minutes and thirteen seconds left until the end of the world by tsunami, I'd take my ghetto-blaster with me to the end of a pier, turn this up on ten, close my eyes, and let the waves separate me. With one droning guitar riff for its lowest common denominator, it then multiplies and multiplies with guitar wrapped around guitar, and snare upon tom upon snare. Slow and steady wins the race, this time.
Well I just dropped nine other band names for the sake of clarity. This review is a preview, but I almost gave away the full-length feature. This'll be more fun if you take a turn, and by all means you should. So let me just stick my fingers down my throat: Barkmarket. Pink Floyd. Led Zeppelin. These are the little gifts that await you, now all over the floor. Pick them up and see where they fit in to Cult Fiction.
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