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The Spider Accomplice - Los Angeles: The Trap Artist

The Spider Accomplice - CD Review
Los Angeles: The Trap Artist

Los Angeles: The Trap Artist 


CD Info
Album: Los Angeles: The Trap Artist: The Spider Accomplice
Genre: Rock
Language: English
Tracks: 5 Total time: 22:35
Rating: 10 of 10


Los Angeles has always been known as a city where people go to make their dreams come true. As a native Southlander, I have always had great pride in my hometown, and have never wanted to live anywhere else. Why would I, when this was the place everyone was trying to get to, and I was already here? There is so much more to the city than what the rest of the world sees when they think of Los Angeles. For all its outer glitz and glamor, there is a dark and gritty side, and that’s what I love about it.

The same can be said of the music scene in L.A.: most of the time, when people think of rock music in Los Angeles, the polished veneer of the hair-metal bands from the ‘80s come quickly to mind, with their perfect makeup, spandex, and empty-headed songs about getting laid and going to the next party. But again, there is far more to the scene than that: for every Van Halen and Mötley Crüe, there have also been Beck, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and N.W.A. Each of them illustrate the experience of living in the City of Angels in their own unique way, and each description—from the decadent to the desolate—are completely accurate.

There are many bands that flock to L.A. in the hopes of reaching that same brass ring as many before them, and some of the newest exports are The Spider Accomplice: a trio from different parts of the world, looking to make their break in the music world, and finding a shared musical vision together in their quest for rock and roll glory.

Taking two parts East Coast and one part Finland, The Spider Accomplice is comprised of Eve’s Apple founding member VK Lynne, who has also fronted bands such as Vita Nova. Joining up with drummer Justin Dixon and guitarist Arno Nurmisto (who migrated to L.A. from Finland solely for the chicken wings—I take it he has not heard of In-n-Out burger?), The Spider Accomplice was born in 2014, and by late 208, their debut EP—aptly titled Los Angeles: The Trap—was ready for the world to hear.

From the moment the opening track “Atmosphere” hits, and you hear the sound of waves crashing, and then the fade-in of police sirens, the ambiance screams “L.A.” right from the get-go. Which I suppose makes sense, considering the album title (sounds like they know the city quite well!). The guitars are dark and doomy, and VK’s voice is rich and melodic. “Butterflies in a Beehive” is a slow, lovely song building up to a memorable chorus. “Calico Concrete” is a rockin’ tune that starts off with the sound of an enthusiastic crowd, with a hooky chorus that is sure to get you bobbing your head or dancing around.

The sounds of L.A. traffic open up the penultimate track and probably my favorite on the EP, “Red and Green”. This song is just pure L.A.; the drum parts have that snappy, snazzy feel to it that remind me of early ‘80s new wave. This tune just rocks from beginning to end, and lyrically, it weaves a tale of someone who “spent all your life in California, slept all your life and now you are awake”. The final track, “Steam”, is a gorgeous acoustic piece that really showcases the beauty of VK’s voice. A perfect closing track, very emotive and poignant; ending suddenly with the rushing sounds of traffic and things going on as usual.

Overall opinion: There is something very visceral about the music that comes out of L.A., and it seeps into everything, regardless of whether the band are natives or whether they have migrated from some other place. It is an intangible quality that cannot be described by words, and for a listener like myself, it is something that I can recognize right away when I hear it. Every area has a vibe to their music that sets them apart from other places, and L.A. has its own particular ambiance as well; it’s something I look for in all bands from the area that I listen to. It’s that inexplicable feeling that I get when I listen to “Under the Bridge” or to the music of Tom Petty (another example of someone who migrated to Los Angeles but whose music is so tied to the area): that special something that defines what Southern California is without using words, something I know is “so L.A.” without having to say it.

So, it goes without saying that The Spider Accomplice has captured this mood quite well; as a native of L.A., I can hear it in their music that they get it. Everything from the California sunshine and palm trees to the Southland smog and graffiti has permeated their sound. For all that they have each come from different places, they have made Los Angeles their home, and the music demonstrates that. The sound effects they use in-between songs only further carries the “atmosphere”: the sound of traffic, the sound of ocean waves, the sound of a car crashing; The Spider Accomplice weaves (pun intended) all of those attributes of daily life in Southern California into their music, and sonically, it’s almost a tribute to all that makes my hometown what it is. It’s not always a pretty place, for all of our outer façade; but even the darkest corners have a unique beauty of their own that is unlike any other place on earth.

That being said, for the rest of you who are not from Los Angeles, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy The Spider Accomplice too. While not exactly on the metal side of the spectrum, there is a hard-rock punch to it, and on the slower songs (or slower parts of songs), almost a progressive element to it. VK is not your typical operatic female vocalist, but she isn’t gravitating towards the harsh and aggressive end either. I would liken her more to a type of vocalist like Natalie Merchant, if I had to give an example (either that, or I just totally aged myself!). The Spider Accomplice is a great new band, and if you are a fan of VK’s past works, you’ll probably enjoy this too. If you’re new to VK Lynne as a vocalist (as I was), or new to the female-fronted metal scene in general, a band like The Spider Accomplice is a good way to “get your toes wet”, so to speak; they’re not too heavy or bombastic like many of the more well-known groups, but certainly rock hard enough for a newer fan to enjoy. I know that a lot of the bands I write about, I praise them for the promise that they show, and I mean every word of it, but I have to say that this 5-song EP is so packed with potential that I only see them getting better as they go on. I anxiously await a full-length album with more to hear from them.

The Spider Accomplice
Special thanks to Zoë Federoff

For more information on The Spider Accomplice, visit their website