Spitfire - _The Dead Next Door_
(Solidstate, 1999)
by: Alex Cantwell (6 out of 10)
After many listens to this CD, I simply cannot muster up better than a 6 out of 10 for it. Some of it I like, and some of it is annoying, but the biggest reason is that I can't tell if these guys are real or not. It sounds like they have been touring with Zao (which they have), but also listening to a lot of indie rock (who knows?). I didn't expect this direction from this band who began as a plain, semi-talented hardcore band. Which is why I question their sincerity. So they toured with Zao (Zao drummer Jesse Smith is also listed as an "additional musician" on three songs) and got all influenced to try the black metal screams and the over the top, aggressive guitar parts. Will they move on to another style next year? These questions can only be answered with time, but I am just skeptical because of the drastic change in style from their former music. Spitfire use a lot of harmonics in the songs here, but the most noticeable recurring theme is the use of a "groove" that is not really a groove, but more of a drone. The music is without a doubt heavy, but not always enjoyable. Most of the vocals are of the angrily shouted variety, but in a couple of songs they have a distinct indie rock edge. "A Glance at Quintessence" sounds like the new Sepultura line-up doing a hardcore song at half speed, except for the blast part in the middle, which, come to think of it, I think every single song has a blast part in it. Hmm. Anyway, "Good Cop, Bad Cop" is my favourite, because it is very fast and very cool, with some awesome guitar riffing, especially towards the end. I believe that Spitfire is on the right rack with this one. The album as a whole is not on the right track, though. As I alluded to above, time will tell what this band has in store for us.

Contact: Spitfire, c/o Chris Raines, 1527 S. Seabreeze Trail,

(article published 7/7/1999)

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