Twofer Tuesday: Dance Music for the Masses

[rating: 6.5/10]

The Satanic Punk International Conspiracy (aka SPIC) is the first of 2 bands on today’s Twofer Tuesday is a punk influenced rock band that reminds me of a great Philly band I had worked with called bang bang beautiful. To be fair, bbb was better than SPIC is, but the potential is there. It’s raw, fast rock with punk rock vocals, that owes influence in both sound and name to The (International) Noise Conspiracy (and of course, the aforementioned’s original act, The Refused). SPIC’s newest album Day Drunk, is equal parts The Refused and The Hives, danceable punk rock that has me tapping my toe as I type.

I can honestly say that the inclusion of word “satanic” in their name threw me off a bit. I expected a bit more novelty or horror influence, but the lack of that element was not in any way disappointing. In fact, many novelty acts are novelty acts because they can’t hack it with the novelty (ie. The World Inferno Friendship Society). The artwork and title of the album were much more representative of the band. Goofy, irreverent, and fun, with a just the right touch of drunkenness… SPIC strikes me as a great band to have at your next house party, rocking the basement while all your buddies get plastered and jump off the roof. The music is straight forward, has a sing-along quality, and is high energy beginning to end.

The tracks are all similar in sound, but the standout, from this listener’s point of view, is “Strike the Set”. It’s got an old school hardcore punk influence, with thrashy guitars that harken to a pre-pop era of punk. It’s a “sugar diabetic overdose”… listen and you’ll quickly get the reference.

Another of my favorite tracks here is the opener, “Hitsville TX” which can be download here so you can wet your whistle on the sound of SPIC

[rating: 7.5/10]

The second band in today’s spotlight is Imagine Dragons. Their EP Hell and Silence, while not what I expected, is a solid showing. The name and my nerdy tendency’s had me to believe the band would be a bit nerdier in sound than they are, but there is still some good synth and a dash or two of geek.

I would compare their sound in ways to many of the popular dance oriented and pop influenced alt rock acts that I am not found of… but that’s not to say I don’t like these guys (and gal). There’s something that makes them a bit different. Perhaps it’s the similarity to the only band of the previously mentioned group that I tend to truly enjoy, The Killers. There is definitely something very familiar, and it’s not surprising to find out that they hail from the same city as the Brandon Flowers bunch.

The most fair thing to say about their EP is that it’s good. It’s familiar and yet fresh, which usually speaks to a release being one that can resonate with fans and critics alike. Being both, I can say… it is an EP that I’d endorse for the alternative radio crowd. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to hear these guys on Philly’s 104.5 or XM/Sirius’s Alt Nation. In fact, I’ll be surprised if within the next two years they aren’t on regular rotation at these stations.

An EP with great production, addictive hooks, and all types of promise. One of the best things this reviewer has received in his mailbox in months. Expect big things from Imagine Dragons.

~ by thepaintedman on July 27, 2010.

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