The Spider Accomplice – Los Angeles: The Abduction
The Spider Accomplice, featuring vocalist/rhythm guitarist VK Lynne, drummer Justin Lee Dixon, and guitarist Arno Nurmisto, have release their sophomore EP entitled Los Angeles: The Abduction. The EP is grounded by an imaginative conceptual base that remains accessible for listeners throughout its six songs. The band has a theatrical slant as well illustrated by their wont for inserting sound collages into their composition. It is never a distraction however. Instead, these artistic decisions result in performances greater than the sum of their individual parts. The songwriting emerges vividly and, often, quite rousingly, but there’s also a tough as nails rock approach here full of unexpected melody. Los Angeles: The Abduction gives lie to the preconceived notion that non-linear concept albums are exclusively stilted affairs. It shows, instead, that these can be revelatory efforts in the right hands.
It begins in a highly cinematic way with the opener. “Bromlaid” has highly syncopated drumming that knows when to come in at all the right times to provide an added dramatic flourish, but the intent here is clearly to bowl over listeners with the band’s combination of rock guitar and a dominating vocalist in VK Lynne. Her voice veers thrillingly from a full on yowl to much more restrained, atmospheric singing and the band never fails to follow her wherever she goes. “Messy Vampire”, if one will pardon the pun, goes for the listener’s throat in an even more pronounced fashion and burns with musical and vocal passion from the outset. It builds nicely, however, from a relatively restrained and atmospheric beginning into the aforementioned full on rock workout. “Behold the Day” has an interesting, herky-jerky rhythm during the verses, a memorable lead guitar melody carrying much of the instrumental breaks, and then some raucous soloing near the song’s conclusion. Lynne proves again that she’s one of the most compelling singers to emerge nationally in recent memory, gender be damned. There’s not a single line or note of her vocal work that stand up well in comparison to her male counterparts.
The half shuffle of “You Still Lie” has a particularly strong chorus and never fails to resist to lure of tingeing everything with rugged rock and roll cover. The band is often referred to as an alternative rock act, but the truth goes much deeper and the label doesn’t even begin to describe their talents. Instead, it would be better to say that songs like “You Still Lie” are in a singer/songwriter mode without ever incorporating the overtly personal aspects associated with that style and spiked with a melodic hard rock edge. “Going Over” is one of the best orchestrated tracks on the album thanks to its steady climb from an acoustic beginning into a rousing hard rock finale. Lynne’s vocals show considerable sensitivity and are well suited to the steady build of the composition. She modulates her voice as the song moves to its conclusion. The finale, “Hollywood Hotel”, has the longest extended spoken word/theatrical introduction but soon launches into one of the album’s most scorched earth invocations of hard rock muscle. The Spider Accomplice have earned many critical plaudits since their debut and this second album should strengthen their status as one of the most dynamic and dramatically inclined rock acts working today.
9 out of 10 stars