"Bastard Complex" (Prosthetic Records)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

"Bastard Complex," the sophomore effort from this North Carolina outfit, is a jagged slice of hardcore-tinged rock with a decidedly aggressive edge. At times seemingly unpolished and rough around the edges "Bastard Complex" has an up front integrity that bleeds through every single song.

Musically, Spite takes a contentious approach to their super-charged style without being too over-the-top. The music shows an equal balance of restraint and inventiveness; included, at no cost, is a healthy disrespect for predictable song structures.

As far as the words go, Spite have fashioned a lyrical machine gun - Spite have taken clear aim at the fabric of American life and have begun to tear common American cultural themes to shreds. "Me And Slim" takes a clear shot at the less-than-virtuous living of these modern times. "Calipornia" predicts the soon to be available porn-on-demand style of entertainment from mass media. "For What" questions the modern day work routine and the conveniences afforded by a 9-to-5 job. "American Silicone" is a simple statement that beauty should be left untouched by combining the image of breast implants to the general destruction of nature. As you can see, Spite have quite an interesting array of subject matter for their lyrics - this is the disc's strongest point.

The overall production is superb for a non-major label release. The sound quality is an intentional fuzziness in which the bass and guitars cover a lot of sonic territory while the steady and simple drumbeats add solid clarity to the musical vision. The lyrics are a schizophrenic bunch of twisted images that add a surrealistic frame to the musical journey. The vocals are delivered in a variety of styles, which adds depth and quality to the overall musical package.

Soaked in honesty, "Bastard Complex" is unlike anything I've heard. As a consequence, it is one of the most refreshing and enjoyable discs I've listened to lately. It may not be my preferred style of music, but it sure has gotten my attention.

Spite is comprised of Christopher Boone on vocals, Dan Young on guitars, Josh Pratt on bass, and Byron McDonald on drums.

"Bastard Complex" was produced by Machine who has worked with Pitchshifter and Rob Zombie and was mastered by Eddy Schreyer.

For more information, check out http://www.prostheticrecords.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:19 -0400.