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A Celebration of Hunger

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Album Review

Coming off like a backwoods Paul Westerberg, Spider Bags' Dan McGee lets the world know his priorities: drink, song, then women. Making the most of his North Carolina heritage, McGee channels the whiskey-soaked greats of country and blues and pounds them into a garage rock sour mash. On the f**k-it-all anthem "Waking Up Drunk," which manages to channel the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers" (a tongue-in-cheek faux-country limey rant, which is ironic since there's no doubt of McGee's own sincerity) he sums up his philosophy in the couplet: "Waking up drunk makes me happy/maybe you just bring me down." Americana-afflicted indie rock is the jump-off point on A Celebration of Hunger, as the Spider Bags at times evoke a less pedantic Pavement or a less angular Archers of Loaf, and they also reference the greats of the genre from the '80s like Dumptruck, Souled American and the Meat Puppets, but you won't find a shred of urbanity on this collection of bloozy barnburners. Case in point: the slide guitar stomp of "Alphabet City Blues" is more Son House than smirking hipster. The punky energy on the up-tempo numbers is more hoe down than moshpit, and the ballads are pure booze-drenched back country laments. And McGee's lyrical imagery is one of a kind, like the barfly on the stool next to you who spins unsolicited yarns that you can't stop listening to: "She got a crooked face when she smiles...she got a dog named after Ike Turner..." from "It's You," one of many lo-fi ditties here that are chock-full of the charm of classic barroom singalongs. Avoiding the hangover (and the pain inflicted by heartless women) by staying drunk is not a lifestyle to be attempted by amateurs; luckily, McGee seems to have more than his share of the requisite experience.

Customer Reviews

SPIDERBAGS RULE

this is one of the best albums you'll ever hear. if you don't want to buy the whole album, just get the songs "darkness in my heart" and "waking up drunk". after you buy those you'll come back and buy the whole cd. and if you get a chance to see them live DO IT. they put on a great show...i just got done watching them play the CD release party for this album...it was amazing.

album of the year

no kidding, this album kills.

Biography

Formed: Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Specializing in rollicking but slightly shambolic tales of hard living and questionable behavior, the Spider Bags were first formed in New Jersey by guitarist and vocalist Dan McGee and bassist and guitarist Gregg Levy. The two met in the mid-'90s when Levy, still a teenager, was playing with a band that needed a new singer, and the vocalist they recruited brought McGee along to play second guitar. Levy and McGee discovered they shared an enthusiasm for Jimi Hendrix, acoustic blues, and marijuana,...
Full Bio
A Celebration of Hunger, Spider Bags
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