Spencer Robinson And The Wolf Spiders At The Love Song, Saturday January 13th 2018
‘We are the Wolf Spiders and this song is about the devil!’. This is how Spencer Robinson introduced his band and his song on Saturday night at the Love Song, the bar adjacent to the Regent theater. Spaceland is now booking shows inside the small bar, and the Wolf Spiders played just after Blackbird Days, a band fronted by singer, songwriter and guitarist Monique St. Walker, whose latest EP, ‘My Lobotomy’, was produced by Alain Johannes. I have reviewed a few of her shows not very long ago, and her expressive and melodic indie rock has a reverb-heavy guitar, combined with a sort of baroque pop twist. Some of her songs have this poignant yearning of early Fiona Apple mixed with voluminous guitars, and last night, she even he played a few new songs, very much in the vein of her haunting and loud sound.
The music of the Wolf Spiders is tough like a black leather ride in the desert, it’s hard rocking but on the slow side, gritty and dark, badass and even cinematic, while drawing inspiration from the California desert and probably the previous bands the different members did belong to: Spencer Robinson used to play bass with The Lords of Altamont and his new band include the Lords of Altamont founding member and guitarist Johnny Devilla, as well as drummer Tom Hernandez from the Superbees, and bassist Piper Ingram from the Honeymoon Screams and Kissy Suzuki.
All set long, the guitars vibrated and roared with muscular chords, and their blasting sound was blending Spencer Robinson’s somber vocals with a dark vibe. They have released their first LP ‘Beneath The Surface LP’ via Rusty Knuckles Records at the end of last year, and the titles of the songs truly echo their gloomy sonic atmosphere, ‘Standing at the End of the World’ sounds like a definitive statement, just like ‘Drink Gasoline, Spit Fire’, which was written after a wild drunken episode.
If legendary names like those of Nick Cave and Tom Waits have been cited to describe their sound, the Wolf Spiders have a tougher, although slow, rocking sound evoking sweaty scenes in an imaginary western. On stage, Spencer Robinson had an intense concentration while moving like a fighter, or kneeling down and grimacing, while the other band members had the coolness of people getting ready to rumble. They had virtuoso guitar solos during a few numbers and if the songs didn’t depart much from this beyond-the-grave sinister tone, the song ‘Spider’ sounded a bit lighter. The Wolf Spiders make creepy music habited by Spencer Robinson’s deep throated vocals, a specific sound that he calls himself ‘music for drinking and dying’. Let’s hope we still can do the first without the second while listening to them!
Say Hello to the Devil
Standing at the End of the World
10 Years of Fire
Killer on the Farm
Don’t Need No Jesus
Drink Gasoline, Spit Fire