Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I'm glad there are still bands like THE SPITS within the punk rock ecosystem in 2012. While it’s difficult to scoop out a judgment of a punk band’s intelligence & sense of humor from their simplistic music and lyrics, Seattle’s Spits have a decidedly tongue-in-cheek, almost tribute-like manner of charging through 90-second scorchers, all the while actually writing offbeat & distinct punk songs you’d actually want to listen to. At least I do. It’s funny – way back in 2003, having never heard of them before, I saw them live while up in Seattle and took them to task for wearing KISS masks onstage, while suspecting them of being aging poseurs fresh out of the grunge scene. Though the shocked, taken-aback comments from band members have since disappeared, we had a nice little angry back-and-forth banter going for a while, and much mirth was made.

Thanks to the magic of Spotify, I find that The Spits are still an active concern, and now have five albums under their undoubtedly expanding belts, each self-titled in roman numerals. I’ve been blasting “SPITS IV” and “SPITS V” at inhospitable volume for several weeks now. They’ve got all the parts, far as I’m concerned. Rooted in a shameless apeing of the Ramones’ riffs, lyrics structure and vocals, The Spits then branch out from there with vocal effects like phasers and processing that makes one of the three vocalists sound like he’s just had his nose broken and is trying to sniff the bones back in. Like the pre-Sub Pop-era DWARVES or early Meat Puppets, songs are not only exceptionally short, they often stop in places you’re not expecting – boom, just cut off in the middle of a riff or in illogical time. While the subject matter is tré dumb (“My Life Sucks”, “I’m Scum”), neither the delivery or the lyrics themselves are lacking in smarts. Keyboard whoosh in, riffs flame out, overdubs from films cut in and wham - it’s over.

Another exhibit that might prove that these guys are one step ahead of their peers is this website,, which is either a well-played elaborate parody or truly one of the weirdest Viagra spam-phishing sites I’ve ever encountered. I’m betting on the former. Each of the two records I’ve been getting down with are over-and-out in like 20 minutes each – another notch on those belts for a band that understands how to make an audience ask for more. Listen to these songs here and let me know what you think. And if you know whether these guys are brain surgeons, one step out of the bread line, or somewhere in between, let us know. They’ll earn the final notch and Hedonist Jive punk rock sainthood if I hear they’ve ditched the monkey masks as well.

Play The Spits - "Flags"

Play The Spits - "All I Want"

Download THE SPITS - "Flags"
Download THE SPITS - "All I Want"