SPELLS: Charlie & The Shithead Take It Down a Notch, Expanded Edition: 7”

Dec 03, 2020

Remember the before times? When we had shows? Well, Spells was the second-to-last band I saw live (right before Drakulas) and it’s a fantastic memory I get to hold onto through the months of suck. I caught them at Fest one year but was too wiped out to dance around, which is saying a lot ’cause that frontdude Ben Roy really inspires some spastic movement. Well this record is all acoustic!—just like the barrage of live streams that are serving as placeholders for shows at the moment (and that’s fine). This is an expanded collection of two acoustic 7”s, plus two unreleased songs. Expanded! Now that I’m listening to the stripped-down versions of their songs, I’m hearing the similarity of Face To Face’s “Disconnected” choruses to the song “Slice Away,” and that is a good thing because they’re both bangers. The guitar in these recordings sounds so crisp and clean—like I feel as if I’m sitting in some café with Ben and Chuck as they dish out these tunes. There’s still an element of unpredictability to Ben’s voice that makes me feel like he’s gonna run up and grab me by the shirt collar in the frenzy of performing, which is rad because it means that this record really captures the fun of a Spells show with a sobering clarity to really hear these songs. Well done, dudes. –Kayla Greet (Snappy Little Numbers)