Album Review: Kind of Like Spitting and Warren Franklin & The Founding Fathers ‘It’s Always Nice to See You’

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Kind of Like Spitting and Warren Franklin & The Founding Fathers It’s Always Nice to See You

It’s surprisingly becoming a rarity to find alternative music that has not been tainted by pretentiousness or experimentation. The modern age provides a wealth of twenty-something’s trying to improve upon what Radiohead perfected a decade ago, and each new single in the indie scene is like a boring, drawn out epitaph for garage music. Whatever happened to four dudes jamming out to poetic lyrics? Where art thou, Sebadoh, Built to Spill, Afghan Whigs? For those of us who are craving a more simplistic, jam oriented alternative to… well, alternative, I bring good news: Kind of Like Spitting has you covered, with a little help from new comers Warren Franklin and the Founding Fathers.

Ben Barnett is back, and kicks off It’s Always Nice to See You with what he does best: a quirky yet introspective acoustic ballad. Though enjoyable (even smile-inducing at times), “Parasite Song 1” is a brilliant fake out. It forces you to lower your guard, allowing “Bullied Like a Bee” to catch you by surprise and beat you senselessly. The bass lines are enough to make your friends in the back seat go “oh shit!” as the drums and drop D chords blare in synchronization from you tremoring car speakers. Kind of Like Spitting’s next five contributions (save a twenty second continuation of the opening track) present indie rock in its most primordial form. “Stress Cadet” teases with its opening bass line, then explodes into one of the grooviest tracks the year; “No Planning is Bad Planning” jams out to what sounds a near law-suit level of similar to The Offspring’s “Gotta Get Away” (but if you’re going to accidentally borrow a sound, The Offspring is an excellent victim of choice). The band rounds out its runtime with “(What’s so Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding,” a song with big questions to ask, but enjoying itself too much to bother with urgency.

Relatively unknowns Warren Franklin and the Founding Fathers ride Kind of Like Spitting’s pulsating turbulence, bringing up the rear with their guns loaded. Surprisingly, their first track is the best of the entire record. “You’re Settling” sounds like it’s fully aware of the brilliance that proceeded it, but fueled by a competitive edge to surpass it. An impressive intro is complemented by dynamic vocals, and all elements of the song are woven into a pop-punk esque – hey! I see you exiting the tab!

Look, I know pop-punk is a dirty word around music enthusiasts, but understand me when I say that only the best elements are prevalent in this magnum opus of a song. This is the kind of music that sends chills down your spine while you’re doing eighty in the fast lane, that leaves you feeling triumphant without so much as getting out of your driveway. After such a monumental introduction, you might think that everything to follow will dissolve into disappointment. Reader, how your instincts lie to you! Each song can just as easily become an air-instrument-jam-session with your friends in the movie theater parking lot – the catchy hooks and energetic melodies ensure a good time, no matter the occasion.

Dust off your cognitive cobwebs and use your imagination for a minute: Imagine buying two EP’s after an incredible local show. On the way home you pop them into the CD player, and each track reminds you of an experience you won’t soon forget. I don’t care if you’ve ever seen – or even heard of – Kind of Like Spiting or Warren Franklin; this is the kind of enjoyment you’re going to get out of this double whammy of awesome. Show it some love via iTunes, Spotify, or the good old Pirate Bay. By the time “Understanding Poetry” rounds everything out, you’ll be hard pressed to find another 33 minutes of a similar magnitude.

 

-Luke Amick

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