Share AIM LOW – The Spitfires (Twenty Stone Blatt)
Okay, first of all, full disclosure up front: I know these guys and have played shows with ‘em. They’re a kick-ass band, especially live on stage, where you can pretty much count on shit getting fucked up in their singular pursuit of a good time.

They’ve released four albums and a bunch of singles on fine labels like Estrus, Yeah Right, Junk and now Scottish imprint Twenty Stone Blatt since exploding on the scene back in ’98. Unfortunately, it looks like this new album from Abbotsford, B.C.’s finest will turn out to have been their swansong, though. They’ve got one final show coming up, opening for the Zeros in Vancouver (wish I could make it to that one ) and then, after over a decade of playing high energy rock ‘n’ roll, they’re packing it in, which is our loss for sure.

So, it’s all the more satisfying to be able to report that the Spitfires are going out on a high note, having made a great album, from the ‘Tators “Bloodbrothers” nod of the cover to the last notes played to close it out.

The first thing that strikes me is that this thing sounds great-crisp, punchy and big without being too slick-and credit is due to lead singer Jay Solyom, who recorded and engineered the thing, in addition to singin’ and screamin’ his guts out.

Next is that the band really SWINGS-I’m digging the finger-poppin’ title tune, three songs in, and thinking, “ Man, this rolls as well as it rocks!” You can tell that the rhythm section (that’s Marty and C.C.) have played together for years. They are locked in.

There’s hooks aplenty, too: ‘The Day the Earth Died Screaming’ sticks in my head after the first listen, as does mid-tempo stomper ‘Mr. Teller’. Oh, and axe-slinger Marcel Lafleur is totally channeling Cheetah Chrome here: assured, aggressive yet, dare I say, tasteful guitar lines are the order of the day. Think of Cheetah’s lead in the epic “Not Anymore” from “Young, Loud and Snotty” and that’ll give you a sense of where Marcel’s coming from here. Bit ‘o’ Ross the Boss, too, and that’s no mean feat.

Closer “Believe” seals it, an anthem for these troubled times and, just like that, it’s over. One less smokin’ rock ‘n’ roll band in the world. Damn. Say it ain’t so, Spitfires. Say it ain’t so. - Andrew Molloy


 

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