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Spitfire The Slideshow Whiplash

Our score 7

by Alex

When a band puts out a CD that is only about 12 minutes long, and they're not the Beatles or some other absurdly popular act, there is little room for error, and absolutely no room for boredom. Most people aren't eager to spend their hard-earned money on a few minutes of music (look no further than Napster for proof of this). Excluding a short and mellow instrumental piece sharing its name with the EP itself, this effort only actually contains three tracks. With that thought in mind, we're quite happy to report that Spitfire's new EP is worth every penny. The Virginia Beach foursome skillfully combines slabs of technical metal, groove laden hardcore, and even a little melodic punk for good measure. The first five seconds of the initial track, "This Ain't Vegas and You Ain't Elvis" (catchy title eh), reminded me of somewhat of DEP's 'Calculating Infinity' album. Forget about DEP though because the similarities end right then and there as Spitfire abruptly digs in with some groove-heavy, straightforward hardcore, the kind of even-tempo stuff that drives pits crazy. Alternate several times between the steady stuff and some crazy blastbeats, throw in a nice breakdown or two, and it's obvious that Spitfire has the formula down. Don't get frightened though. Spitfire has actually been around for about five years, so they've got some credibility . These guys aren't some musical cliche or tired rehash of modern metalcore (note to PJ: we haven't listened to Spitfire's full-length on Solid State Records, so we can't comment on any evolution within the band). Anyway, moving along, the second track, "Bulletproof And Tall As Jesus", is different enough from the first track to keep things interesting, yet not such a departure as to leave listeners confused. There's even some of the dual guitar leads that Cave In pioneered several years ago. A few minutes into the searing track, the drums take over, blasting away with some Sepultura styled groove. They melt away, fade in again, and dissolve into the aforementioned little ditty of jazzy drums and lazy electric piano. Ok, things do get a bit monotonous for a few seconds here, but the vocal-less track is way too short to fall asleep to. Besides, even if you did doze off, you'd be rudely awakened by the snarling hiss of the killer track "Heroin". The vocalist (plays guitar too) has one of those scratchy growls that cuts through the music nicely. But for the first time on the EP, he actually takes to singing (somebody does at least, perhaps its someone else in the band). There's a nice pop-punk chorus that is as sloppy as it is catchy, which makes for an interesting counterpoint to Spitfire's typically corrosive hardcore attack. Cue in some somber piano noodling, and the CD is over. Just think, the whole thing will be over by the time your microwave pizza is done cooking. Bottom Line: The production could be improved slightly on here, and some may accuse Spitfire of sounding a bit like some other bands out there, but who cares Quite simply, this EP rocks.


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