Apparently this is something new, broken down into reduced compounds. I guess that means this French lot don’t care for being pigeonholed and to be fair they have right mixed up sounds and styles taking in everything from electronics, through to industrial, doom, sludge and even pop music motifs and put it all together in an eclectic fashion. Unfortunately eclecticism is not always a good thing and that well known phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ kind of goes with the territory unless you get it spot on. Broken Down as their name suggests do not get it spot on by any means and the resulting First Spit is a great example of where it all goes wrong.
Even the track titles reek of pretention and trying too hard. The first ‘You Covetous, I’m On A Roll’ plods in with some turgid riffing and electronics before some clean vocals that sound completely out of tune have me grimacing. In fact that’s what I have spent most of my time doing whilst listening to this. It’s evident that the vocalist is bordering on tone deaf, there’s a few growly patches and a slight attempt at melody here but the overall effect makes me wonder if this lot are just really inept or having a bit of a joke at the listeners expense. It’s all as the second number contests ‘A Pill Hard To Swallow’ which ups the ante with some Sabbathian riffs and out of tune vocals that sound like a bad squat band having a jam. Guitar work is primitive to say the least, simple and repetitive and melody is just as basic and underwhelming as I look for something positive to say and fail totally. There’s some bad punk lurking amidst all this, some stoner grooves and some clean vocals that don’t so much as hit the ceiling but bounce straight up off the floor and come back hitting you in the face. The band make great bones on the album quoting Jello Biafra “Nowadays it’s been put into all these narrow parameters. A band picks a style, plays in NOTHING but that style, and puts the intelligent members of their audience TO SLEEP.” The annoying thing is this has absolutely no style and if it didn’t keep me awake by sounding so horrible I would be asleep. Sometimes I wonder if vocally the singer is attempting to emulate Biafra but he doesn’t even manage to get close. ‘on the way TO BE YOURSELF’ attempts a ballad of sorts at first and the nasal sounding vocals are cringe worthy and attempts at rasping just as ill conceived.
‘DOOM’ is just bloody silly as it blends GGFH like retro electronica with a tune that sounds like a classic pop song (apparently it’s an Eiffel cover). It gets right under the skin and really, really annoys. If they are attempting to get you singing along “doo diddy doo diddy doo” well I guess they succeeded. Again it’s all out of bloody tune. On to ‘Like A Witch Daddy Doom’ well it’s basically Daddy Cool by esteemed disco gods Boney M, served up over a slow plodding beat that turns it from a fun albeit damn annoying classic into a torturous doomed wrist slitter. Even the closing instrumental number here is a complete mess and again I have to question who could possibly like this.
Jeff Maurer is apparently the person to blame for all this and a quick bit of digging has led me to more music in his own name called Torment which are apparently meant to be psychotic, psychedelic instrumentals but I have had quite enough of him for one lifetime to delve further.
Yes it’s a harsh review but honestly the only good thing about this was that it was only 25 minutes long and still it felt like it went on forever over the several listens I have given First Spit’ trying to get to grips with it. Seriously though, worst thing musically I have heard out of France since Fadades!
(1/10 Pete Woods)