3 of 4 thought this review was well written
2 Guys, a Girl, some guitars, some good rock influences and too much time on their hands, locked up in a barn in the outback is clearly a successful formulae for good rock music. 'Tonight Alright' is Spiderbaits 6th major label album and it is probably their most consistent and all round mature album to date.
Not to mention this is their most mainstream album to date, reaching #14 on the Australian chart and the single 'Black Betty' hit #1 (a cover of the Leadbelly/Ram Jam song).
Mark Maher 'Kram' - Drums, Lead Vocals
Janet English - Bass, Lead Vocals
Damien Whitty 'Whit' - Guitar
Track 1 - Take Me Back
The Intro track. Now for an intro track to be good on any album, buy any band, it has to have something special in it to make it work, after all this is the first track anyone listens to, and boy do Spiderbait pull it off. The track slowly builds up with Whit on the guitar and Kram rumbling his drums while singing about Love and the City. It builds up and around 2mins in the song gets into full gear. "Take Me Back To The City!" Kram sings in his trademark style and the guitars make you bob your head along, and soon Whit fills in with little mini solos here and there. This is a really cool intro track. Its not to complex, yet not simple, it just works. Awesome rock track. 5/5
Track 2 - Live In A Box
Janet takes over the vocals here on this more upbeat track. Her singing, much like Krams, is very unique and interesting. The verse is pretty cool as the guitars chug along, but the highlight of this track is the chorus. Whits guitar work and Janets almost haunting voice creates a very nice track. This is where Spiderbaits new found seriousness begins to shine through. Good songwriting, good track. 4/5
Track 3 - Black Betty
Que Banjo. Que Drums. Que Guitars. This is Spiderbaits version of the Ram Jam hit Black Betty (originally written by Leadbelly). No Gongs here though unlike the Ram Jam version :(. Ahh well. Kram does a really good job here, anyone whos tried it knows that it is very difficult to sing clearly and consistently while playing the drums. This song is full of very nice drum fills and guitar solo sections, highlighting the abilities of both Kram and Whit. Now this isnt a Spiderbait song, but they pull it off well in their own unique way. This song also featured on Need For Speed Underground 2, and it fits in there nicely.
A deserved 5/5
Track 4 - Put It Down
Kram stays on the vocals here, as the rock energy turns up a notch and Put it Down starts to pump out of the speakers. "Im Chilling To My Bones (Yeah Yeah) Feeling All Alone (Yeah Yeah)" with Whit sliding out another mini solo after and during the chorus. The lyrics on this track are substandard, nothing leaps out at you it seems very simplistic, but the guitars and drums give the song that little extra, stoping this song from becoming a filler, but only just.
Track 5 - F*#$en Awesome
Hmmmm...swear words galor. Infact the verse is just F-ing Awesome. But Hey, it works, and it works good. This is a real nice rock track about a how awesome I Am. Anyways. The chorus is pumping with energy as Janet shows of her vocal talent with some pleasant ohhs and ahhs in the background. This track stands at a measly 2:24, but its solid all the way through, even if it does get repedative.
Track 6 - 5th Set
This song features some weird dudes voice at the start, and its more of an experimental track. It features alot of different electronic effects and heavy riff work from Whit. Very dirty and gritty all round, really cool to listen to loud, but nothing special unfortunately. I just cant like this track, I dont know why.
Track 7 - The Dog
Back to classic Spiderbait that we know and love. Kram starts us off with a nice "Waaahh!!!". Pumping, loud and proud Aussie Rock. No real chorus in this track, just a differet riff. Kram has some nice druming here and Whit shines, but the track is less than 1:30 long.
Track 8 - Cows
This song has nothing to do with Cows, but who cares, this is one of the best tracks on the album. Janet sings "So Keep Your Distance, Its All Delicious, If Your Supersticious, I'll Do The Dishes" while Whit goes at his guitar hard. The song builds up into some high energy action that makes you wanna dance all over the joint. "Its So Pretty Now, I Can Feel It".
Track 9 - Tonight
What!!! A slow song! Spiderbait turn things down into the pleasant 'Tonight'. Whit plays a nice little, relaxing, mellow guitar set, while Kram gently speaks the lyrics "Where you going tonight, I wanna find out". After a while you begin to hear Janet come into the background with some 'lalala' but not before. Soon the song rips up into a much heavyier set. Whit pounds on the guitar and Kram sings loudly "Think Your More Than I Can Get? Theres Nothing Left To Say! Think Your More Than I Can Get? Doesnt Matter Anyway!". The guitars die down and the song slowly fades out. This is Spiderbaits best attempt at a deep and meaningful song and boy do they nail it on the head.
Track 10 - Alright
Whit opens this track with a nice little solo, and the drums along with Kram pounce into action. Alright is a hot little track with solid drumming and energy, and it really highlights Whit's guitar skills. Kram belts out 'Make You Feel Alright!' for the chorus, and the bridge is really nice. This track could of been longer, but so could many of the tracks.
Track 11 - In This City
Janet sings again while Whit slides power chords up and down the guitar. The lyrics flow very nicely on this track "Get what you can for free, no room or vacancy!". Solid drumming and Whits bridge keep this track rolling along at a really nice pace, but the song finishes to soon.
Track 12 - Picky
This is the outro track, and it is very mellow and calm. Laid Back. A perfect ending for the album. With some nice guitar picking and the occasional strum, "I wanna let it down, maybe once again". Nice gentle druming from Kram highlights the mood of the album, and this is probably the only track where you can hear Janet on bass really clearly. A nice jazz influenced solo is featured and maintains the mellow and calm atmosphere of the track. A really cool ending, but not a traditional Spiderbait track.
Spiderbaits best album by far, but still room for improvement
- Black Betty
- Take Me Back
- F*#@en Awesome
- Most consistent album yet
- Shows how the band has grown
- To Short
- Bass is often to soft to make out
- Guitars can get repedative
The main problem with this album was the length. At only 12 tracks long (11 if you dont include Black Betty) it only measures up to 36 minutes, and many of the tracks are under 2:30 long. However this is a clear and exciting look at the direction Spiderbait are taking, and how they are fast becoming loved by many new fans, without losing the many already behind them. The Future of Spiderbait looks bright.