Spraynard - Funtitled
Record Label: Asian Man Records
Release Date: April 12, 2011
There has been a sudden influx of bands in the past few years playing what is colloquially described as "orgcore." Characterized by gruff vocals, melodic instrumentation and a gritty yet accessible aesthetic, these so-called "orgcore" bands (so named for their association with Punknews.org) can often be hit or miss. Bands such as Hot Water Music or The Lawrence Arms, who drafted the blueprints for this movement, are often borrowed from to varying outcomes. Some bands succeed in taking the concepts set forth by these bands and build upon them; others fall short. Too often does the latter occur. Thankfully, though, Spraynard are of the former.
Formed in the summer of 2008, Spraynard were conceived by three friends with a mutual love for melodic punk rock delivered with both honesty and urgency. Though their debut album was a promising start, the band had yet to do something truly memorable. That is precisely what they've done with Funtitled. The record is a refreshing and satisfying listening experience and much-needed jolt of honesty into a scene that has become choked with imitation.
Creatively speaking, the album's nothing too revolutionary: pounding percussion, bright power chords sprinkled with crisp lead lines and impassioned sung-shouted vocals. These traits, though nothing new to the genre, are notable because they're utilized in a manner that's much stronger than the band's contemporaries. Moreover, it's just a fun album to listen to. It's relatable and instantly accessible, but never lazy or watered down. One shortcoming of this otherwise fantastic album, however, is the fact that about midway through, the songs begin to bleed together. It's expected in this type of punk rock, though, so while it is somewhat off-putting, it's ultimately forgivable. And when the songs are this good, it's okay if they begin to sound like one another.
In the end, it's the way this album makes you feel that matters: rejuvenated, satisfied and just plain happy. The album's title is not only a clever play on words; it's also an apt summary of the record: fun. And with song titles pulled from the likes of "Wayne's World" and "This Is Spinal Tap," how can you not have fun?
I'm interning right now at Asian Man and walked away with a copy of this on Vinyl. Definitely brings back the glory days of listening to Latterman. Simple, good and uplifting melodic punk. I was speaking to Mike and he said that in terms of signing bands he's been looking for more traditional sounds that he feels fit the genre, Spraynard is an absolute step in the right direction.