Album Review: Dan Webb and the Spiders – “Perfect Problem”

Dan Webb and the Spiders
Perfect Problem
(Gunner Records)

There’s a point where pop punk needs to be tailored to accommodate growing pains. No one wants to see a band struggle with tired lyrics and suffer at breaking point (see Smashmouth … who actually, were always awful). There are challenges and awkwardness that we all face. On Dan Webb and the Spiders’ debut Fall of ’08 (ironically released in the summer of ’09) lead man Dan Webb was already building upon pop-punk roots—relaying lyrics about the idiosyncrasies of our days with loose, garage-esque bliss.

I’m not categorizing these Bostonians as sad bastard music—quite the contrary. The Spiders have always had a knack for assembling extremely lucrative music. They’re sound is bombastically upbeat without being too polished, and this thrives on their newest album Perfect Problem. During “Rosebud” Webb sings about some rather distainable social interactions, “People like you really break my heart, you don’t know what to do so you fall apart”—yet you can’t help but clap along to the hooky bridge and chorus. The same goes for the title track, which is full of poppy snares and dynamic harmonies. It’s a killer sing-along with excellent production value. While some of the lo-fi songs of yore are heartfelt gems, having the Chicago legend Steve Albini record half of this album puts the Spiders at their finest combination of raw and explosive sound.

The opener, “Not Stoked on Trent” storms in with choppy riffs and a well-timed attack of crashing cymbals. It catches your ear immediately and puts you on point. While on “A Loan” drummer Stephen Benson rips open the track with tom beats like a marching squad against the simple, potent guitar strum. It’s a rhythm that’s getting ready to sit you down and share some advice. Perfect Problem finds the Spiders lending a wealth of choice words, “I hope I live long enough to forget everything that I regret.” They’re honest dudes—and it’s damn catchy. (Scott Murry)

Purchase Perfect Problem here.

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