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One Hundred Dollar Room

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Album Review

Completing a busy 2000 campaign, Kind of Like Spitting's third release of the year featured more of the same complex arrangements and vivid imagery that marked their previous releases. While Ben Barnett seems to be trying to cram multiple sonic and lyrical ideas into the structure of tracks like "One Bird, One Stone," with various tempo changes and disjointed guitar solos erupting within the three to four minute range, the majority of One Hundred Dollar Room retains the reflective, serene feel of previous releases. Emphasizing rather simple production techniques, the surreal, witty, and occasionally incomprehensible nature of his songwriting is given equal footing with the sophisticated arrangements that are similarly free of cliché. Ruminating on failed relationships, death, and the trials of human existence in general, Kind of Like Spitting provide an indie rock grab bag of sorts, balancing quiet reflective passages with spiked guitar-induced climaxes. Barnett's squeaky voice, an excellent vehicle for the emotion he communicates through his intense narrative, perfectly complements his increasing tendency toward the loud-soft dynamic in tracks like "Yes, You're Busted" and "Cater." Neither invasive nor evasive, Kind of Like Spitting make songs that are reliably good, remarkably accessible, but probably not exemplary enough in any one respect to merit essential status.


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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One Hundred Dollar Room, Kind of Like Spitting
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