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The Thrill of the Hunt

Kind of Like Spitting

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Album Review

Although accidents of geography have led to Ben Barnett getting compared to another acoustic-oriented Portland-based singer/songwriter, Elliott Smith, Kind of Like Spitting's The Thrill of the Hunt lacks the mopey self-seriousness of the late Heatmiser leader's work. Not only are some of the songs overtly comic ("Share the Road" runs very close to the loopy anti-folk of Jeffrey Lewis), Barnett has an ongoing Web covers project, some of the fruits of which are here, including half-serious takes on Big Star's "Thirteen" and Leon Russell's "A Song for You" (best known in the Carpenters' version). And, just to throw in a change up, Barnett's buddy David J (not the one from Bauhaus, but the one from Novi Split) wrote and sang the album's brief title track. Barnett's easily cracked singing style recalls the early Jonathan Richman, and the widely divergent recording sources — about half the album was recorded at home or on the road, and Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla produced the rest in a proper studio — means that there's a fragmentary, half-formed feeling to the album as a whole, but Barnett is such an engaging, endearing figure that The Thrill of the Hunt remains entertaining throughout.

Biography

Born: 1996 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Kind of Like Spitting is the outlet for prolific singer/songwriter Ben Barnett. The year 2000 alone saw four full-length releases from him; through Nothing Makes Sense Without It, Old Moon in the Arms of the New, You Secretly Want Me Dead, and One Hundred Dollar Room, Barnett gained comparisons to Elliott Smith, Mark Eitzel, Billy Bragg, and Robert Pollard. A self-titled 2001 release compiled re-recorded versions of early material. Barnett's work is also strewn throughout several singles, EP, and...
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The Thrill of the Hunt, Kind of Like Spitting
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