Thursday February 22nd 2018

Uncle Spudd – “Spudd Light”


Uncle Spudd – “Spudd Light”


Uncle Spudd is a punk trio from Maine that I became familiar after seeing them play an awesome set this year at the Midway and then reviewing an equally, awesome cd by them, too.

Mainly, I review bands from Boston and Providence. And mainly, I don’t see these bands infrequently, I see them a lot! And mainly, I refrain from making puns about bands involving their home state.

These guys showed a lot of promise and now they’ve increased their promise- tenfold.

Not really sure what that words means? I’m guessing ten times?

But no guessing in this- here is a band that impresses me with music that reflects the best parts of The Modern Lovers, Wire, The Ramones, The Saints, Dinosaur Jr., The Flaming Groovies, The Feelies, The Violent Femmes, The Replacements, The Pixies- I hear a part of all these great bands in their music.

(Now, I’m wondering if they’re looking up half the bands on the list!)

But while they do that let’s check them out. I believe it’s worth a listen:

“Call 911,” is about having an “underground show” and the old folks feel the need to piss on their parade. “Clean fun, we don’t need any drugs. But those neighbors can sure hold a grudge…The kids are on our lawn and they all have guns, they’re at the door, I think you’d better just run.” A somewhat psychedelic guitar lick accompanies this pure punk fun romp.

“Like The Rest Of Us,” has emotional vocals that repeats each line several time along with fast, speed-of-sound guitars and with lyrics about female exploitation. “Take off all your clothes, acceptance is a must. We’ll tell her she’s an object to be used by us. We’ll teach her that her worth is nothing more than lust.” True lyrics about a society that couldn’t be more wrong with a tune that couldn’t be more right or concise.

“Moxie Is Better Than Coke-A-Cola,” is reviewed not because I think it’s one of the best songs on the album but simply, because I loved drinking Moxie as a child. Now, I mainly (there I go again) drink alcohol which Vic Robinson instructed me is the devil’s semen. And I’m pretty sure he’s right about that.

“I Miss You When I’m Lonely,” has the simple poignancy of a great, slow Ramones song when that band used to turn the velocity and volume down- but here there’s some disturbing lyrics. “‘Cause you were always hateful, and I was nothing but grateful, to receive any beatings that you gave to me.” Nice guitar solo with a great swingin’, swoopin’ surf beat. “And then I remember the way, you used to strangle me.”

“Voyage,” has a great, garage rock groove that reminds me (sounds exactly) like one of the original, great Boston punk bands- La Peste. A band I’m almost certain they’re unfamiliar with but a great, legendary band to be compared to. This song grooves and grinds and rocks with glorious passion.

“I Got Nothin,'” is a wonderful, melodic song that seems inspired by The Ramones with a Flaming Groovies like hook added. “I’ve got nothing to lose…I’ve got no will to be.” That last line, could sum up my life but hearing songs like this make me do a complete three-sixty. Great tune.

“Party At My House” is probably a surprise pick for me, as it’s very, very slow and has what sounds like an accordion wailing in the background and blues guitar licks. Not my recipe for a good time, or party. “There’s a party at my house and I wasn’t invited. I was running away,” are the lyrics, in total, and I totally dig this song even though I’m not sure why.

“So Full Of Life,” is a reflective song, about the death of a father. “You always looked out for others, forgot to take care of yourself.” This song alternates between a drum-less acoustic part and a buoyant, exuberant melodic one. “Last time I saw you, you were so full of life. It was so good to see you, so full of life. It meant so much to see you, so full of life.” This great song is so full of poignancy, emotion, intelligence and awareness, that it’s so full of what makes the best of life. And it was so good to hear it.

“Yeah, I Know,” has a blistering, supersonic, fast rhythm guitar only heard on early punk songs. “And I know you’re looking out for me…But there’s more to this life than physical wealth…you say I won’t grow up. Yeah, I know.” Actually, this is the song whose lyrics, more precisely, could be written by me than any on the album. And besides the great lyrics, the music is exciting and fun and it’s no surprise- this is my favorite song on the album.

Most of this album makes me really happy while at the same time, some of it makes me a little sad.

And what makes me sad is I hear them veering away.

The parts that makes me happy, that vindicate the belief I had in them, shows me that they truly have become a great punk band.

But with their growth they’ve become more self-reflective, which is great, but it’s also leading them towards the styles of indi and alternative, leading them away from punk. (Notice, I didn’t say “astray.”)

‘Cause I feel, though, there are parts I don’t like- this, as a whole, is a really great album. One I’d be surprised, if it doesn’t make it into my top ten at the end of the year. And though I love and approve of their growing, I’m afraid they just might slip away.

But I have faith, that even if they do, they will continue to be great.

Hear that? I said before I thought they could become a great punk band.

And I feel they already have.

But even more so, I’m convinced, that with this album.

They’ve just became a great band.


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