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Mean Red Spiders - Still Life Fast Moving

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 13 / 2 / 2003

Mean Red Spiders - Still Life Fast Moving
Label: Clairecords
Format: CD


Excellent album from the Mean Red Spiders, which despite being twee in its delivery, proves also to be reminiscent of Stereolab

Mean Red Spiders ? It’s a very strange name, isn’t it ? What does it bring to mind ? Yellow Submarine Blue Meanies ? But no, the music isn’t psychedelic or druggie at all. It’s a shame, but it’s good anyway. Across the course of 46 minutes, the Mean Red Spiders deliver a fine album of excellent guitar playing and band team work that is very twee in it is delivery, but is also similar in its direction to Stereolab. The opening track ‘First and Only’ reminded me of the Go Betweens in its beat, and in its vocals of Scotland’s Camera Obscura and Belle and Sebastian. ‘Advance to Illinois’ is as slow and as dark as anything by the Red House Painters. ‘Beaconsfield’starts with Doors style drums before moving into Stereolab style guitar and singing. ‘Chinese Wall Declaration’ is very French cafe society in its flavour. ‘Turn Walk Away’ is pure jingle jangle, and ‘My Soul to Keep’ has nice girl singing that slowly ventures into Slowdive land before returning to acoustica and then returning to Slowdive territory again. ‘They Only Met Once’, as the title suggests, is twee, and sounds like Heavenly before becoming a 60’s style garage folk number. ‘Awkward Over Coffee’ again sounds like Stereolab, but this time marries its sound with an Echo and the Bunnymen style early Echo drum machine. Most of the songs on this collection come from the Stereolab cage of view, which isn’t a bad thing, but especially towards the end of the CD, most of the tracks do something different, dancing into the land of electronica or post rock to finish off songs.

Track Listing:-
1 first and only
2 advance to illinois
3 beaconsfield
4 chinese wall declaration
5 turn walk away
6 the new nostalgia
7 my soul to keep
8 they only met once
9 awkward over coffee
10 first and only (reprise)

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