Spider Vomit - Widows Walk
18/10/07 by Craig "novacane" Reeves
Devising fabricated stories of how this Melburnian quintet came to assume their pungent moniker is an irresistible if limited source of amusement. Did a known individual once create a perfect image of arthropod when ill? Were sacrificial spiders consumed then regurgitated, in an act of Osbourne inspired debauchery? Was an unwitting arachnid spiked Edmundo-style at an exuberant soiree, duly depositing its guts on the lap of a partygoer, later of Spider Vomit? Do this group simply reek of said rare essence? Lacking a defence, let speculation abound.
It might be said that the alleged matter continues to provide the group with inspiration, as the delightfully garish tye-dye rags testify on the sleeve of Widows Walk, their debut five-track. On it they have hurled a guttural, brooding and belligerent compilation which will be familiar to any witnesses of their live notoriety, now a year in the brew. At its heart bleeds the 7-minute title track, a metamorphosis from gothic dance and raucous repetition to a hypnotic death march and back again.
Such form continues on the murderous blues of Evil Bloody Long Haired Woman, in which the subject meets with the electric chair, and demonic soundclash Tail Points To HellProblems, and to a lesser degree No Way, is perhaps the only nauseous point of contention in this set. While both have become energetic and participative live favourites with their cult following, that vigour seems less effective on record.
The duelling counter vocals of front two Hannah Brooks and Craig Dermody do much to draw easy comparison with Sonic Youth, but while Spider Vomit are happy to acknowledge this fact, they call on a stretching and skewed scope of influence, musical and otherwise. The chaotic Captain Beefheart, obscure avant-garde hauntologist Ariel Pink, the drone metal of Earth and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins have all been cited. From this palette they have created a captivating resonance which at times, fuses horror and beauty to such an extent that they become almost indistinguishable; a dreadful and mesmeric mutant. It’s enough to make you quite sick.