EP Review: Kicking Spit, Psychrockbullshit (Phantom Domestic)

(Article first published as Music Review: Kicking Spit - Psychrockbullshit on Blogcritics.)

This EP from New Jersey’s Kicking Spit could be subtitled Much A-Dü About Something — as in Hüsker Dü and a return to a sturdy 1980s underground rock aesthetic in the face of the flaccid hipster posturing of current college rock, with its plethora of bands with cloyingly cutesy animal names.

kicking spitYes, Kicking Spit have certainly studied their Hüsker Dü and Sugar albums, and that is no bad thing. With zero sign of Bob Mould and his old bandmates getting back together any time soon, Kicking Spit have taken up the cause, offering up punky guitar-driven fury and pleasingly melodic choruses of existential angst (“They say destruction’s a creative urge / And I’ve got lots of time to burn,” they sing on “Skulls”).

Psychrockbullshit offerings like “Nothing Left,” “Sea of Swirls” and "Truth or Consequences” showcase tight musicianship, with alternately roaring and chiming guitars and frantic-yet-controlled drumming reminding the listener that the oft-derided 1980s was actually a great time for rock music if you had good taste and knew where to look.

It will be interesting to see where the talented lads of Kicking Spit take this sound as they develop and build upon the work of their predecessors.  Rock on, fellas!

--Johnny "Gutter" Walker