Coming quickly of the heels of their EP (Learn: The Songs of Phil Ochs [HSH052]) showcasing the largely overlooked songwriting talent of 60’s folk iconoclast Phil Ochs, Kind of Like Spitting delivers a startlingly honest album, taking inventory of their own dynamic range as a band. The brush-train rhythm, acoustic guitar, flute, and tenderly delivered vocals of “Aubergine” give way to blistering guitar squalls and hard-hitting drums of “We Fell All Over You” recalling the adrenaline spikes of 2003’s searing Bridges Worth Burning. The message is clear. This is an artist that will not be pigeonholed. This is an artist that can both invigorate an audience with rare energy then turn around and demand rapturous silence and reflection. This is an artist taking a look in the mirror, wrestling with demons, and after a knock-down drag-out brawl, finding some peace. Originally recorded and mixed in a five day blur at The Hall Of Justice with Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie, The Thermals, Hot Hot Heat), the first mixes didn’t capture the energy of the songs performed live. As artist and (former) label butted heads for over a year on how to bring the album to life, the reels sat on the shelf until they were dusted off on the other side of the country with recording engineer / producer Dave Achenbach (Versus, Wheat) and entirely rediscovered. Churlish, middling guitars were abandoned for demanding, raw ones. Spiteful, disenchanted vocal deliveries were exchanged for thoughtful, empowered performances. Less realized songs were cut and a map was drawn. The sequence of tracks for In The Red follows the real events: the unraveling of turmoil, frustration, and pain resolves in redemption. In The Red is not simply a collection of songs. It’s a story. It’s a statement. It’s a saga and it stands out among the finest offerings from Kind of Like Spitting.
released November 1, 2005
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