On July 17, 2020, the world as people know it changed. Indie-rock supergroup SPICE released their eponymous debut album, a succinct microcosm of the band’s ambition and potential. Irresistibly frenetic yet meticulously calculated, SPICE is laden with high-octane guitar hooks, rapid-fire percussion, unabashed angst and magnetic crossover appeal.
Based in the northern Bay Area, SPICE formed in 2018 and is comprised of six members. Lead vocalist Ross Farrar and drummer Jake Casarotti hail from versatile, genre-defying punk band Ceremony. Fans of rock, punk, alternative and indie music alike will appreciate Farrar and Casarotti’s influences throughout the album; SPICE transitions from pop-punk fervor to laidback, self-assured rock seamlessly. SPICE’s roster also includes emo-punk guitarist Ian Simpson of Creative Adult, bassist Cody Sullivan of hardcore rockers Sabertooth Zombie and violinist Victoria Skudlarek.
Despite its conspicuously short runtime, SPICE is a remarkably bold debut album. Between the band members’ impressive and varied musical résumés, the resulting album’s unpredictability is hardly a surprise. Openers “First Feeling” and “All My Best Shit” are surefire standouts, combining alt-rock and post-punk sensibilities with earworm guitar riffs to form a certifiably exhilarating introduction to the album. Meanwhile, “Murder” and “Black Car” are rollercoasters of unresolved post-adolescent angst accompanied by breakneck instrumentals. SPICE also includes several noticeably short songs–fast-paced joyride “Reward Trip” and palate-cleansing transition “Vo the Night”–both tracks at under two minutes, with most of the album’s other nine songs ending before the 2:30 mark.
SPICE’s brevity makes it seem like a bite-size teaser for more music to come. Though short, the album is a testament to the impressive creative power of six punk-rock experts blending their unique experiences, styles and aesthetics into one. At the end of the day, SPICE is a thrill ride ideal for driving with the windows down, working out and kicking back with friends.
SPICE debuted their self-titled album on July 17. Bringing a wide variety of experiences to the recording studio, each member of the supergroup contributes to the LP uniquely, imbuing the end result with extraordinary crossover appeal. Given the strength of their debut album, SPICE possesses sky-high potential.