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Spank - "Get Bent" (CD)

Spank - "Get Bent" CD cover image

"Get Bent" track listing:

1. Turkey Leg (2:49)
2. Gravity (4:08)
3. Back To Me (3:50)
4. Breathing (3:35)
5. Terrified (2:51)
6. In Time (3:15)
7. Space (3:16)
8. Grounded (3:14)
9. Hard To Understand (3:50)
10. Step Out Of Line (2:56)

Reviewed by on August 20, 2009

"Though the band’s style is pretty traditional southern rock, … there’s a hint of bad harmonizing between lead and backup vocals that makes these guys sound more like a novice barbershop quartet."

Any time you have an independent album release, you expect the sound quality to be a bit inferior to those produced by big name and big bucks labels. But when a band seeks out the help of well known producers like Mitch Easter (REM) and Beau Hill (Warrant, Ratt, etc.), you expect a little higher quality to the recording. Unfortunately, that’s not how things worked out for hard rock band Spank with their latest release, "Get Bent."

Aside from the vocals that all too often get drowned out by instruments, and a bass that really only is distinguishable in the track "Space," the overall sound of this album really isn’t that great either. Though the band’s style is pretty traditional southern rock, a genre I typically favor, there’s a hint of bad harmonizing between lead and backup vocals that makes these guys sound more like a novice barbershop quartet. Honestly, none of the vocals, including the lead vocals provided by Brian Boles, are all that great, and when the alleged harmony starts, there are moments when it’s downright painful.

Since the bass is my personal favorite instrument, I will say that Jody Blevins puts forth a good effort on "Space," with a nice chuggy line that certainly improves the space age sounding composition, but eventually his repetitive riff becomes just plain boring, and the breakdown on this song is the same couple measures repeated over and over.

Dual guitars are provided by both vocalist Boles and David Barker, but with the exception of a few moments where acoustic and electric meet, Spank doesn’t manage to sound like a band wielding two axes. Sure there’s the occasional nice little riff, the most mentionable one being in "Back To Me," but there’s nothing new or outstanding in the strings department. As for drums, this is the only area where I would ever compare Spank to Metallica – namely because like Lars Ulrich, Ben Barker seems to know one or two tempos, and repeats them in every track. He also seems to have an unhealthy addiction to cymbals, but that may be a nitpicky quibble on my part, being a fan of snare and double kick bass drums.

There really are only two moments on "Get Bent" that merit a mention. The first is an arena rock style guitar jam on "In Time," and then most of the next to last track, "Hard To Understand." This tune is pretty good as far as hard rock songs go, with a sound slightly similar to the 80’s ballads performed by Bon Jovi. The only difference here is that while Jon Bon Jovi’s voice gave passion to his music, the vocals here can only be called blah.

Maybe in a live setting, Spank would be a decent band to check out, provided the cover wasn’t much, but between not very great production and predictable, droll compositions, they certainly don’t warrant paying much for the CD to take home.

Highs: Bass work is pretty good when it can be heard, and "Hard To Understand" is a decent track for those who like 80’s mainstream metal.

Lows: Poor production and vocals that are discordant more often than they are pleasant.

Bottom line: A hard rock act that may be worth a couple bucks to see live, but certainly not worth the cost of purchasing their CD.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)