A BETTER TREATMENT (YELLOW VINYL)
SPICE singer Ross Farrar speaks of the band’s ambition to forge a sort of aesthetic patois: a mode of expression as strikingly regional as it is recognizable. Last year’s self-titled debut, released in the depths of the pandemic, fully achieved this goal, distilling decades of North Bay punk and post-hardcore into an urgent, artful set of emotive unrest. Their latest single, A Better Treatment b/w Everyone Gets In, further refines the group's singular mix of weathered melody and abrasive poetics, equal parts bracing, bruised, and cryptic."A Better Treatment" began as a song about a friend who died but through the turmoil of collaboration transformed into something more macroscopic and opaque, blurring the boundary between hopeful and defeated ("I thought loving someone would cure my self-hatred"). Bass and drums build against walls of guitar while the violin threads its own melancholy within the noise; Farrar is blunt about the intention: "The violin is an instrument of death you know.""Everyone Gets In" is both poppier and more pained, an anthem for angst aging into the reverie of regret: "We lose our strength / along the way / we lose each other / the funeral sways." The tempo sways too, gradually slowing to an anxious crawl before finally revving back into a storm of shimmering guitar and splashing drums, fighting against the dying of the light. It's music of raw truths and rejected pedestals, storied but unswerving, a revolt against the great regress: "and my / my time is spent / adoring seasons / that I / I never should’ve."