ALBUM REVIEW: We’ll Get There by Spider Mansion

By: Phil Skurski

[As a matter of tonal consistency, editor’s notes will be included in red]

Spider Mansion is not just a clever pun, but also the result of a science experiment where a child was raised listening only to Dashboard Confessional and that Vanessa Carlton song that’s in every single movie trailer from the 2000s. [word.] In fact, while listening to “We’ll Get There” I could see a young Josh Hartnet looking brooding and soulful while walking down the street—possibly kicking a can, or, like, a plastic bag could fly across his path or something—and then he starts to break into a run going through the entire town, his footfalls keeping time with the beat, crossing from his side of the tracks to hers. [you lost me] All of this being intercut with the girl—perhaps a nubile J. Love?—going through the motions of maybe a wedding or something with the Chump Next Door that her parents approve of because he doesn’t sell amphetamines hidden in ballpoint pens to Danny Masterson. [wait how do his (her?) parents know that he(?) does/does not sell amphetamines out of a ballpoint pen?  How does one sell amphetamines out of a ballpoint pen? This is all v confusing but idk my the readers will get it bc they’re smarter than me] Finally Josh—which is both the actor’s name and the character’s, total coincidence, they wanted Ryan Phillippe [who are these people and what do they have to do with dashboard confessional?] originally—makes it to the gazebo where he and J. Love went on their first date, had their first kiss (did it for the first time? Dunno, it’s PG-13), he stops—standing still and looking shocked. Is it a scene of wedded bliss he sees? No! It’s J. Love, sitting on the gazebo steps, head in her hands. And you know that scene ends with them kissing in that gazebo again. [I’ll assume this makes sense bc I don’t really get film idk]

Punk enough to scream when you can’t hit those high notes, Suburban enough not to tell your Mom you’d prefer guitar lessons over piano lessons. Spider Mansion is built on the ashes of many a discarded Ben Folds album. And as much as I’m poking fun, I kind of dig it [but do you? I don’t. Sry Spider House]. It sounds lush [u playin]. I like that the drums don’t fall back on tired beats with regularity, the basslines are often melodic. There isn’t much guitar to speak of because, you know, Piano [lol], but that’s not a bad thing—no forced harmonies that stick out awkwardly [tl;dr album isn’t awkward 9/10], or leads shoehorned in because your friend Artie wants to make sure he has a girlfriend for senior year (Author’s Note: I do not know whether or not the members of Spider Mansion are still in High School, nor am I aware whether or not they have a buddy named Artie that’s super lonely[editor’s note: I’m not sure why a ‘shoehorned lead’ would get Artie laid {Johnny Truant’s note: I had sex with a girl last night who was dating a guy named Artie.  All I hope for is a moment of rational thought and one shot at action before I’m lost to a great saddening madness, pithed at the hands of my own stumbling biology}]). The guitars take the fore on the last track, “Which Sucks Cause I Really Liked That Record”, they sound kind of like the intro song to an Anime might. There’s a progression to this release getting bitterer towards the end—where he sings out confidently—though not exactly a happy confidence—that our paths will cross again. Not too bad a fate, if you ask me, I’ve definitely got some friends that will probably really like Spider Mansion.

The band’s self description as “sad twinkle Wisconsin” is not only spot on, but also my favorite combination of words in a long time. [My favorite combination of words is ‘asspunks’ as made famous by previously reviewed band and avant-garde asspunkers Vacuum Horse]


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