Boston’s Banjo Spiders show remarkable range on their self-titled debut CD. Things get off to a fast start with the roaring punk-pop of “Gilligan’s Daughter,” which has a somewhat familiar melody. But that’s not all they’re about, as it turns out. The next track, “Tone,” is more of a rootsy affair that could have fit in nicely on, say, Wilco’s first record. “Thinkin’ Aloud” sounds like the band has been listening to a lot of those ’60s garage and psychedelic bands on the Nuggets box set. “TBD Composition #2” is more like speedy, melodic cow-punk. Both the terrific guitar work of singer/guitarist Eric Barlow and powerful drumming of Kevin Hartson are showcased on the melodic rocker “You & My Pride.” Barlow also contributes some excellent slide work on the easy-going country jangler “Nice Guy Club” which quotes a few doo-doos and dee-dees from Simon and Garfunkel’s classic “Mrs. Robinson.”
This record is the sound of a band still seeking its own identity, but one with the talent and depth to go far.
Spinning Records, 327 Summer Street, Studio 4, Boston, MA 02210; www.spinningrecords.com