Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Spider Accomplice - Los Angeles: The Abduction

The Spider Accomplice - Los Angeles: The Abduction  

Produced by Steve Kravac, The Spider Accomplice’s second album in their Los Angeles Trilogy, Los Angeles: The Abduction is a rollicking and imaginative ride through the seedy and occasionally phantasmagorical landscape of Los Angeles, circa 2016. The EP’s six songs are laced with some elements of fantasy, but there’s also a gritty earthiness about the alternative rock trappings defining these tracks. The trio is led by vocalist and rhythm guitarist VK Lynne and joined by Justin Lee Dixon on drums and Arno Nurmistro on guitar and backing vocals. The trio is combustible, but melodically gifted despite the hard rock trappings surrounding these songs. This is passionate music that reaches far beyond the glittery trappings of the Los Angeles scene and should find widespread approval from rock fans across the globe thanks to its burning heart, invention, and full throated attitude.  

The burning heart and invention are obvious in the opener “Bromlaid”. It begins with an intricate sounding weave of instruments that are building towards a launch into the stratosphere. When the first peak comes, the band turns on Dixon’s mighty snare hit and then the show becomes VK Lynne’s alone. Her voice explores an assortment of tones, textures, and phrasing while tailoring it perfectly to the other musicians. “Messy Vampire” means business. The lyrics are rather dark, even violent, and Lynne’s voice summons up the needed danger to put them over even further. The arrangement quickly mounts in intensity and when the full on rock assault begins around the one minute mark, it takes on an even more jagged edge. One of the EP’s most creative pieces is “Behold the Day” with guitar work that has a much different jagged style, but a surprising amount of melody. It shifts gears some during the verses with an approach centered on filling the gaps around Dixon’s well placed drum work.  

The EP takes a swing towards the commercial on the song “You Still Lie”, but commerciality should never equal cheapness. The verses are strong, but the chorus is exceptional and reaches one of the release’s highest zeniths thanks to its sweep and accessible power. Lynne’s vocal performance is among her best on the recording and she pounds home the lyric with enough conviction that it’s impossible to doubt her commitment to making the song work. “Going Over” is another track that begins on a relatively demure mode in comparison to the rockers but slowly builds into a full-blown mini epic complete with light keyboards and expansive textures. It’s another amazing performance from VK Lynne and her emotive range gives this song an even greater grandeur than it otherwise possesses. The closer “Hollywood Hotel” is a fitting conclusion for the album that has some strong storytelling aspects and is populated by a rogue’s gallery of misfits, wounded souls, and some delicious dark humor. The Spider Accomplice has scored big with this release and it is a memorable second half to the band’s planned trilogy. Bring on the conclusion. 

9 out of 10 stars. 

Michael Saulman

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