Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Forgotten Gems: The Spades-Learnin' The Hard Way

Go Cart Records

Forget everything you think you know about hard-living, punk-fueled, biker sleaze-rock. The Spades are about to school you in the fine art of all things greasy and grizzly/hard and heavy. This is spit in your face/loudmouth heavy rock born from those who grew up down and out. Straight from the word go the members of The Spades were finding themselves in trouble so it's no wonder that the music here bleeds angst and frustration. Despite the inner-city, anywhere U.S.A. look in their eyes these guys come from across the pound. The Netherlands that is. Yes, The Netherlands. That just goes to show you that growing up down and out doesn't have to be limited to those living here in the States. Not at all. Of course where they come from means little compared to what they can teach you about real punk and roll. For this band it's all about playing pissed-off, mean metal. Let's roll off the obligatory names. Motörhead, Ramones,MC5, Dead Boys, AC/DC, Black Flag and The Hellecopters all resonate throughout this release. Don't let that fool you though. This is the real deal. All of those bands just get smashed together with those results being one bad mother of a rock platter. The Spades are guys straight out of the streets who, having seen their fair share of misery and bigotry, found that they were tired of having to just "fall in line" so they picked up their guitars and played. And play they did. "Learnin' the Hard Way" is 17 tracks of gut-punching mean music. It's not pretty. It's raw and real. It's also hard hitting in a "Open your eyes and see the lies right in front of you" kind of way. I can't and won't pretend like I know what it's like to walk a mile in the shoes of these six guys (Denvis Wankalot - Vocals, Barry Black - Guitar, Tony Slug - Guitar, Enus - Guitar, Dick Spade - Bass and Son Of A Cop - Drums), but I will say that it makes for some killer punk metal/rock and roll!

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