Interesting, but probably too wild for any one taste.
David Goodwin | Westchester, NY United States | 08/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Let's Go Spiders" is the third entry in Big Beat's "G.S. I Love You" series, that heralds the oft-ignored, Japanese counterpart to the US/UK/elsewhere garage-band explosion. While volumes one and two were various-artist compilations, though, Big Beat decided to focus on a single band for their third (and, at the moment, final) volume. For the band of honor, they picked The Spiders.Actually, I can see why Big Beat decided to go with the Spiders. For one, they're an excellent example of longevity in a musical scene that tended to feature extremely short careers; the Spiders were around for a relative eternity, actually making the transformation from an eleki (instrumental, like the Ventures) to rock band in the middle of the decade. Secondly, the Spiders are something of the "jack of all trades" insofar as group sounds bands are concerned, as they can go from a fuzzed-out rocker to a ballad and back within three tracks on an album. Lastly, the Spiders are definately amoung the highest profile GS bands--even in an international sense--as apparently their quasi-theme song "Sad Sunset" was given a UK release, behind which the band toured.The problem here, I guess, is that while this compilation certainly represents the many styles of which the Spiders were capable, it also fails to disguise how derivative they could be; clearly, ability to mimic does not necessarily confer expertise at the micmicked styles! Thus, while tracks like Upside Down, Yves, and Sad Sunset demonstrate a mastery of fuzzed-out excess, the Doors-ian ballad, and the organ-dominated garage lament, you have the sub-Louie Louie "Monkey Dance" (one of my least-favorite tracks from GS I Love You vol I), and the bizarre "Hey Boy." The last track mentioned is a decent enough song, but shamefully rips off the organ solo from a certain well-known Zombies tune. I would also argue that--like G.S. I Love You vol. I--this compilation is a bit heavy on "novelty" tunes (like "Ban Ban"). While the Spiders have no real internal consistency album-wise, there are some startlingly-excellent gems lurking on some of their discs that were not included on this compilation ("Lonely Man," for example, or many of the excellent tracks on their "Meiji" album).As an introduction into the world of specific GS bands, though, this compilation serves its purpose. Whether or not one will be sufficiently impressed to followup onto actual (and expensive!) is up to one's individual taste."