The Spider Accomplice – Los Angeles: The Abduction
The second album from Los Angeles based alternative rock trio The Spider Accomplice, Los Angeles: The Abduction, is the second installment in their critically praised Los Angeles Trilogy. The conceptual trappings of the EP shouldn’t be mistaken for the outright concept albums leanings, i.e. The Who’s Tommy or Queensryche’s Operation: Mindcrime, but their attempts at crafting a coherent storyline for the EP is a deeply rewarding and entertaining effort throughout. They probably rely a little too much on set pieces, like the spoken word and ambient introductions to many of the songs, but their effect on the release isn’t averse enough to drag down the entire work. Some will like those moments, and some will wish they just got on with the song. Overall, however, this is a gripping rock EP that features a dynamite lead singer in VK Lynne, and she’s accompanied by two exceptional musicians who have noticeable chemistry with each other. These are songs that, undoubtedly, rock in a live setting.
“Bromlaid” is a powerful opener with a slow simmer that, when it eventually erupts, carries the song to even greater heights. One thing discerning listeners will hear over and over again on this EP is that The Spider Accomplice’s songwriting prowess is driven in a significant way by their control over musical dynamics. The songs are well orchestrated, but drummer Justin Lee Dixon deserves a particular mention for the snap and decisiveness he brings to this performance. Some of the instrumental breaks in “Messy Vampire” will scorch listener’s ears, but the song starts off with a more restrained air before escalating. The nuanced instrumentation contrasts quite nicely with VK Lynne’s vocals and she’s just as suited for the task at hand when tempo picks up and the guitars adopt a much more slash and burn approach. The lyrical content is a little more quirky than most rock songs, but it’s quirky in a nonetheless very accessible way. “Behold the Day” opens with some ambient sound effects before a revolving guitar melody kicks things off. When the verses begin, the band adopts a much different approach and the guitar sound has a clipped, fill approach that spars nicely with Dixon’s drumming.
The album’s first single “You Still Lie” starts simmering immediately and Lynne delivers one of her most impassioned vocal performances on the album. The bitterness here is tempered by some outright heartbreak. It’s probably the closest thing on Los Angeles: The Abduction to an outright mainstream rock track, but the band can never fully repress their individuality. “Going Over” is a particularly interesting track because it can certainly be heard as the EP’s “ballad”, but they never fall into the trap of pandering to the form’s clichés. The finale “Hollywood Hotel” is a memorable closer, rambunctious yet slyly humorous, and the lyrics vividly convey the song’s intent. The Spider Accomplice have accomplished mighty things with this ambitious EP – in two releases, the band has given listeners nothing else than a highly imaginative, panoramic account of the City of Angels and its denizens.
9 out of 10 stars