8 out of 10
I took a chance on this record because the band sounded interesting, very glad I did! Spiderbites are made up of Joe Holweger on bass and vocals, Andy Woodwardon drums and the late Tom Edwards on guitar. These three made up the later day version of Adam’s Ants during his world tour for Kings of the Wild Frontier. In January of this year, Tom Edwards died unexpectedly forcing Ant to postpone a number of East Coast shows. The Spiderbites record was nearly completed at the time of Edwards’ death and recently released.
Musically, it is straight up 80’s glam with a twist of Spinal Tap in the lyrics. If your expecting Adam Ant-like new wave, this isn’t it. It’s a fun, guitar driven record with tongue-in-cheek lyrics. This is a band that doesn’t take itself too serious and the record benefits from it. Mid record there is a quick foray into the obligatory 80’s acoustic balled with “Sunny Side Up”, a great song that brings to mind Alice Cooper’s “You and Me” from 1977’s Lace & Whiskey. The one semi-serious song is the title track “When the Lights Go Down” which features lyrics written as a tribute to Edwards.
This isn’t a parody in the vein of Steel Panther. This is more a band wearing it’s 80’s glam influences proudly on its sleeve and not being afraid to have fun. Who knows what the future holds for Spiderbites, but When the Lights Go Down is a record that brings back memories of summers past.