I’ve had a passing interest in the work of Spit Like This for quite a few years, since I spotted an ad for one of their gigs while seeing what was going during a trip to Colchester… it turned out the band were playing the day after I left, but, the images and logos used were enough to grab my attention.
When the band visited Guernsey for Chaos 2010 my interest was piqued and I ordered their debut album We Won’t Hurt You (But We Won’t Go Away) and very much enjoyed that and their gig on our little island.
Since then however, once the ‘they were awesome guys and it was great seeing them live’ novelty had worn off, I haven’t often revisited much of that album save for the ace Sex, Drugs and Heavy Metal and their version of Sweet Transvestite (in which Lord Zion proves he was born to play Frank N Furter, something I’d love to see in a full production of Rocky Horror if I’m honest).
None-the-less I was excited about the prospect of the band’s second full length, Normalityville Horror, for two major reasons: One was that they would be working with legendary producer Chris Tsangerides (who in the past has worked on classics with metal legends such as Judas Priest and King Diamond) and secondly due to the addition to the band of guitarist Rob Riot, who had co-written Sex, Drugs and Heavy Metal with Lord Zion.
As soon as I’d pressed play on Normalityville Horror though it was clear Spit Like This had moved on in leaps and bounds since their previous recordings.
While the band have clearly retained the spirit which makes them who they are (and is a major part of the Spit Like This brand) here they have added a new depth and thickness to the sound and the songwriting which makes for a much more satisfying record.
Across the album Zion’s lyrics retain their mix of ‘dangerous’ sleaze and tongue in cheek attitude, combined with their ever-present railing against ‘normality’ and standing up for freaks, geeks and outsiders, which fans of this kind of music are, almost without exception.
While in the past the band seemed to trade almost exclusively on the attitude of the frontman (and bassist Vikki Spit), now they really have the music to back it up too, with Rob Riot’s guitars being full on heavy metal but with a twist that left me thinking of something maybe 80% straight up metal and 20% of the sound of bands like The Wildhearts and, if I’m honest, if this album belongs to any instrument (besides the vocals) it is the guitars, seemingly even more so than other rock ‘n’ roll records.
This combination has led to a great record that, while it still probably won’t launch the band into the Top 10, certainly is capable of spreading their music to a wider audience through the infectious sense of sleazy fun that seems to run through the lives and music of the band and some cracking rock songs and, if you want a song that really stands out and acts as a microcosm of the whole album to check out, I’d recommend The Life and Times of The Suicide Kid.