"The Unfinished Spanish Galleon of Finley Lake" on Polygram Records

Spiderbait hail from Melbourne, Australia, and "The Unfinished Spanish Galleon" is Spiderbait's debut LP and features the infectious single "Jesus" which has been receiving a lot of airplay lately on Australia's 'alternative' station Triple J.

Now, what's the usual problem with this type of noise? The vocals are generally lost, uninspiring or lacking any melody whatsoever. Not so with Spiderbait - true, they're fond of the distortion mike (and amp), but what you end up with is infectious melodies against a backdrop of fast, hard guitars.

Spiderbait are also fond of using a seemingly effortless switch from nice 'n' easy, almost popish gear, to loud, hard, and fast thrash - kinda like the lull before a storm to the storm.

Opening with "I Gotta Know," 'Galleon doesn't let up, and shows the flexibility and diversity Spiderbait have, with tracks like "the Riot," the punchy "Yeah O Yeah" and the funky "Who are the Freemasons?" The last listed track is "Detective," which features walking bass lines and has a Pink Panther feel to it.

There are a few weaker tracks like "Sam Gribbles" but on the whole, Spiderbait have delivered a solid recording. I especially liked the secret track which comes on 5 minutes after the last song. It features a Casio organ pumping out some cheesy twaddle, juxtaposed with distorted vocals and weird lyrics.

Christina Soong
© 1995, Rational Alternative Digital
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