Listening to Spickle, I picture the guys in Dead Guy back in their introspective, sweater-wearing days when they were smoking just a little too much weed and listening to just a little too much John Zorn. At their best, Spickle could be favorably compared to bands like No Means No, Hell Worms and Victim’s Family. But they too often veer off into extended musical “studies” that tilt harrowingly close to some of the more dangerous forms of musical mold, namely: post-punk, art-rock, and (shudder) even emo. But this is hardly shocking; for some reason, instrumental bands seem to over compensate for their being singerless. They develop a kind of napoleon complex. Don’t get me wrong; this is not bad at all. It just sometimes trips over its own musical cleverness as it rushes up to prove to you that they can keep your attention even without some shmub howling about a heartless ex-girlfriend or evil multi-nationals or whatever. I mean, I’m not slighting these Spickle fellows by comparing them to Greg Ginn’s Gone, for instance. At the very least, these guys don’t get their fingers stuck in their guitar strings. They just need to shake off their persistent desire to practice feng shui with their music. They need to trust their own raw power and let it run dumb and free a little more often.