Ng / Artemis Records, 2000


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


[Editor's note: In the attempt to capitalize on the popularity of reality-based shows, we now listen in as our intrepid reviewer makes a call to his mother. No parents were belittled in the writing of this review.]

Hi, Mom? Yeah, it's me. Fine, how's about you? Yeah, the new house is great. Sarah hasn't even tried to color on the walls yet. She's on the couch watching Power Puff Girls, and sends her love to Grandma.

Anyway, the reason that I called... do you remember that poem you taught me when I was younger -- "Sugar and spice, and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of"? You do? Well, sorry, Mom, but that's bullshit.

No, I won't watch my language. If you listened to Spit, the debut release from the Canadian female quartet Kittie, you'd agree with me. It's a disc that's as intense as a train wreck, only you're sitting in one of the engines, loving every minute of the impending collision.

What - could you say that again, Mom? Cordless phones... worth nothing... when is Ameritech going to upgrade the lines in Gurnee?my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Yes, Mom, I know that "grrl" rockers have made their mark on the scene. But let's face it, as much as I love Liz Phair, her last effort didn't light things up the way people expected. And Courtney Love seems to be more interested in a potential acting career than her band Hole -- not that she's not good at it.

Besides, one listen to this group -- vocalist/guitarist Morgan Lander, guitarist/vocalist Fallon Bowman, bassist/vocalist Talena Atfield and drummer Mercedes Lander -- and you'd tend to think that they could kick both Phair's and Love's asses in a bar fight, and still have enough strength left over to whoop anyone who came their way. The music on Spit is shocking, intense, explosive -- and I love it. This ain't Britney Spears, that's for sure.

I'm telling you, Mom, I knew this was going to be one of the most intense rides I've been on since I listened to that all-female Japanese punk band. Right off the bat, Kittie smacks you in the midsection with the title track - and while it took me a minute to get my musical equilibrium back, I was soon begging for more. On one side, you've got Morgan Lander's vocals which can border on angelic - and then you have Bowman's grunting shouts taking the music to an entirely new level.

Tracks like "Brackish," "Do You Think I'm A Whore" and "Choke" all tell the listener that the members of Kittie -- all still in their teens, mind you -- are the kind of girls that will take absolutely no shit, knowing they have to succeed on their own terms in a market that's expecting them to fail. Spit is the kind of disc that suggests Kittie has no plans to follow those rules, and is in it for the long run. Thank God for that.

If you've got the time to try and figure out the multimedia section, you can even watch the full-length video of "Brackish," which really shows the power these young ladies have. You know, Mom, pretty as dolls -- well, dolls with piercings -- but the ability to strike like a cobra.

No, Mom, I think this disc is a little harsh for you, and it's sure to cause some parents to cover their ears in shock. But Kittie is a band who seems to be in the right place at the right time, and anyone who is sick of all the teenybopper pop stars and is pining for some solid, kickass metal with just a hint of the Go-Gos thrown in, then Spit is definitely the disc they're going to want to pick up. I think it's one of the best discs I've listened to this year.

Whoops, gotta go, Mom. I think Sarah just tried to flush her dollhouse down the toilet. Nuts... there go my plans for watching "Iron Chef" tonight. Okay, we'll visit soon. Love ya. Bye.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Ng / Artemis Records, and is used for informational purposes only.