TRACK REVIEW: Spider Bags “Back With You Again in the World”



spider bags

This night might be filled with sorrow

Your heart might still feel so blue 

But I’ll be back with you again in the world tomorrow

I’ll be back with you again in the world  

It’s hard to put the music of Chapel Hill-based Spider Bags into words. At their core, they could probably be described as a garage band with country, bluegrass, folk, blues, rock’n’roll and punk influences. Their unique blend of genres combined with songwriter Dan McGee’s ability to write punchy, energetic songs sets them apart from most other bands. With a lineup rounded out by Gregg Levy (bass/guitar), Steve Oliva (bass/guitar) and Rock Forbes (drums/percussion), the band has put out three full length albums since they got started back in 2006: Spider Bags (2007), Goodbye Cruel World, Hello Crueler World (2009) and Shake My Head (2012). “Back With You Again in the World” is the first single off of their upcoming album, Frozen Letter, out on August 5th via Merge Records.

While “Back With You Again in the World” is just over two and a half minutes, as usual, the band manages to pack in a ton of musical elements in a short period of time. After a brief introduction of amplified distortion, the track kicks off with an antsy guitar section. While two guitars battle each other the drums propel forward, building up to a country-esque solo as impressive as it is fleeting. Finally, Dan McGee’s vocals enter on the first verse. They waste no time barreling through three verses of the song, and just when you think the racket is about to die down, a saxophone solo comes out of nowhere. As if the energy the song wasn’t yet frenzied enough, there is a brief ritardando in the instrumental section only to serve as a bouncing board into and even faster-paced finale. Spider Bangs graces us with one last celebratory verse, and then it’s over.

“Back With You Again in the World” is the type of song that probably should be played at a hootenanny, or at least a raucous barn party. From the euphorically romantic lyrics (You know I’ll always be honest in everything that I do / I’ll always be honest with you, it’s true, I will always be honest with you) to the repetitive vocal phrasing on each verse, it basically forces anyone who listens to sing along. While it is the music that will make you want to get up and dance, it is the lyrics that will melt your heart, warm your soul, and loosen up your vocal chords.

Spider Bags is able to create musically complex songs that feel like they were spontaneously and casually strung together, and “Back With You Again in the World” is no exception to this. This general atmosphere probably speaks more to the band’s chemistry, a chemistry that allows the band members to listen to each others’ sections, to improve each other musically, and to make some extremely fun music.  On “Back With You Again in the World,” Spider Bags have mastered the art of building complexity through a cacophony that could seem to some haphazardly loose, and given us a lot to look forward to when Frozen Letter drops on August 5.