The Spits – “The Spits” (2000)

While in San Diego I bought the re-release of The Spits eponymous debut, which originally came out in 2000. I have to clarify the year of release because, well, you know, all the The Spits’ studio albums are named The Spits… so using the year is the only way to differentiate one from the other. I suppose I could refer to it Led Zeppelin style as The Spits I, but whatever. It’s The Spits, man.

While founding members Sean and Erin Wood are originally from Michigan, the band itself formed in Seattle, and their official website describes them as “Seattle-based,” so they’re from my backyard, and I’m happy to claim them. Their style is garage punk – sort of old school in sound and pace but, you know, with keyboards. Because keyboards are way punk rock.

The Spits are sort of a lo-fi punk rock version of Devo. And I mean that in absolutely the best way possible. Their song titles are intentionally ridiculous – “SK8,” “Saturday Nite,” “Remote Kontrol,” and, of course, “I H8 Pussies.” They’re not making an effort to be fancy or polite or polished. The sound is pretty stripped down and basic with a Ramones-esque cadence and pacing, though at times I swear they’re trying to sing with English accents, most notably on “I H8 Pussies.” The keyboards are kept pretty basic, usually playing long notes to stair-step the songs up or down, most noticeably on the opening track “Dropout.” Of course, it’s also used to make spacey noises that sound like laser guns on “Black Kar,” so don’t accuse the keyboardist of not being versatile. For my money, though, “Die Die Die” is the best song on the record, one that would have been just as at home on a Sham 69 or Clash album.

I’m really digging The Spits. I think I need to burn this to mp3 and get it on the iPod and keep my eyes open for some of their other records.

Leave a Reply