Psychedelic indie rockers, The Spitting Pips, hailing from sunny Rhyl are no strangers to Little Indie Night. They’ve previously been featured, which you can check out here and have played at two of our events in the past, including Little Indie Fest, which was an overall success partly thanks to their set.
The Spitting Pips seem to be tackling further afield with their gigs, including other festivals and gigs around the North West. Since we last caught up with them they seem to have picked up a further musician to their band named Dave Podbury. To further increase their fan base they’ve released a six strong EP release titled You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, which can be pre-ordered at the bottom of this post. We’ve been invited to preview their upcoming release and give our review. Here we go.
Without shuffle set and with headphones in for immersion purposes, I press play and I’m welcomed by a cool countdown “1, 2, 3, 4 which leads to slowly played acoustic guitars, which in turn leads to echo-y style vocals. Already, not far into the release the pips have introduced their style, which is a mellow kind of psychedelic indie rock that they are great at playing. This song Open Your Eyes then goes into the chorus, which ups the tempo with some nicely plucked guitar lead and softly beaten drums. Accompanied by well song lead and backing vocals it then adds another layer, which gives the song a catchy motto so to speak “you ain’t seen nothing yet, so open your eyes”. A spiritual meaning perhaps or just personal wisdom to share? That’s a mystery to ponder over another time. It’s a catchy start to the EP and I’m eager to listen to the rest. Lets move on.
Track 2, Optimist Junkie, starts off with a well played uptempo bass riff, which I personally like when it comes to intros for songs. It doesn’t last long though before the guitars kick in and the echo-y vocals start. As the verse and chorus plays you can tell The Pips singer Zack has personality aplenty and is able to record vocals, which entertain (and can be entertaining live as witnessed at their previous gigs I’ve been to). A third way through the track it quietens down with a slow lead up to big guitar solo. A well played guitar comes next separating the song verses and giving a well placed interlude before it crams more singing in before the end of the track. This is my favorite so far of the EP. Its a great upbeat number, which is bound to get an audience bouncing along to it.
Back to acoustic and added jingly-jangly tambourine for their next song Cellar Door. Bass kicks in shortly after the intro, which sounds complex and upbeat, showcasing Woody, the bassist’s talent. The song meanders from upbeat bass and acoustic melodies to slow interludes, which ensures the song doesn’t become samey. All through the song the vocals differ from that off the first two songs in that no echo effect is found apart from that of the backing vocals giving the sung word more power to suit the songs upbeat and dominant bass and acoustic guitar parts. Its a great mid point(ish) of their release and shows no sign of repetition in their style of songs chosen.
Plastic Jesus starts up and already I’m welcomed by a well played bass riff, which is upbeat but not powerful this time. Instead, it leads you to a Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds-esque verse with jangly guitar sounding quite like a sitar used often by the Beatles during their Indian inspired phase. Zacks vocals shine through on this one and its the best I’ve personally heard him sing. It’s a mix of softly strummed guitars, sitar like guitar and soft harmonies contrasted against Zacks strong delivery of the vocals, which make this particular song a very enjoyable one. The song speak volumes without you ever delving into the meaning of the lyrics as you are bound to get lost in the the confident vocals and dreamy like accompaniment .
Grungy from the start with a steady beat and over-driven guitars the next track is a revisit to the earlier track’s upbeat feel. Revolution is a steady, raw sounding indie track, which verse is full of attitude, but short lived as it is brings you into the chorus straightaway with a catchy sung “moving to the other side, lets get out of here”, which will no doubt be stuck in my head for days to come…. not an un-welcomed distraction as I’ve been trying to get rid of a annoying low-fi so-called indie song out of my head all week. Trumpets…? It does sound similar to trumpets that sound in the background of the chorus. It works well. A sign The Pips are experimenting and are coming into their own sound. At just shy of five and a half minutes long, this newly dubbed powerhouse of the release by myself, powers through with a steady grungy beat to the end, leaving a you entertained and most probably singing along to it still afterwards.
Their final track, a bonus track (lucky you) ensures you feel you are audience to an intimate gig and you are at front row. It’s a great end to their release, full of heart, emotion and pain. Father is contrasted strongly by its chorus with its strongly strummed acoustic and strong emotive vocals and its slowly strummed verses and gives diversity to the whole performance. Towards the end of the song I could hear a sniffing I think, quite like the singer was holding back tears or indeed crying (or it could have been myself – it was after all a very touching song). A truly emotional performance recorded – you won’t find that anywhere else no doubt.
Overall, the release showcases the light and dark, the uptempo and the slow emotional ballads, the psychedelic slow numbers and the grungy powerful rock anthems. To sum it up, everything any good release needs and in the right order I think. I’m no rock aficionado, but I wholly enjoyed the entire song collection here. Its great to see them coming on strong, finding their well polished sound and experimenting with their music. I’ll be following avidly to see whats next in store for The Spitting Pips.
Check out their first release and music video from their EP, Optimist Junkie below:
Want to learn more about The Spitting Pips? Check out their social media below for updates on tours, releases and more.
unZined, an offshoot of Little Indie Night, a night aimed at hosting what is becoming one of the best live music events in the Northwest, has been given free run to find local talent, find out a bit more about what makes them tick and spread the word around to promote local music. If you are interested in being featured or know of any musicians/bands, contact us here or email Mal at firstname.lastname@example.org