Spider Bags, “Someday Everything Will Be Fine”

Spider Bags
Someday Everything Will Be Fine
MERGE
7/10

North Carolina’s Spider Bags have made something of a reputation for themselves as musical shapeshifters. Drive-By Truckers’ rollicking alt-country influence is all over their first two albums, while 2012’s Shake My Head is a little more nervy, invoking the cowpunk spirit of Meat Puppets. Their Merge debut, 2014’s Frozen Letter, is quite polished, with an opener that could be a Strokes song.

But no matter who they sort of sound like, they always sound like themselves. You can reliably expect two things from a Spider Bags album: high quality and high energy, and their latest, Someday Everything Will Be Fine, delivers on both counts. It was recorded on a Tascam 388, the vintage recording/mixing device used most notably by Dinosaur Jr.; even the songwriting and guitar tone feels inspired by J Mascis. This setup is a new one for Spider Bags, and it allows their edges to remain a little rough—which is especially great for the blistering live staple “Cop Dream/Black Eye (True Story).”

It’s important to note that Spider Bags are never simply aping another band and hoping it works. Each of their forays into a different sound is a measure of their progress, and Someday Everything Will Be Fine is a concerted effort by a band flexing its formidable muscles. If they spent their career delivering album after album of Southern-accented garage rock, that would be just fine—they’re damn good at it. But they build upon that foundation, adding something to their repertoire with each new release. As they sing in the sprawling “My Heart Is a Flame in Reverse”: “You can run from the police, but you can’t run from yourself.” 

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