Tampa band Fear The Spider offer up high-energy rock influenced by the fairly eclectic combination of old-school punk and early glam rock – we kid you not.
Fear The Spider came about after frontman Jim Pacifico took an extended break from music before deciding what he really wanted to do. As Jim explains: “I love the camaraderie that comes with being in a band, it’s almost like a brotherhood. I have tinkered with the lineup enough since the band formed (in 2017) and feel that we now have the right combination of players.”
With that line-up of Ben Sperduto and Jay Whittle (guitars), JP Portugues (bass), JMike Bonnot (drums) onboard, the band recently released their debut self-titled album, which gives us a delicious feel for their rocky, punk-tinged sound. It kicks off with Are We Anymore, which opens up with a low bassline and spoken vocals, then cool darting guitars see it gradually build in heaviness towards a big singalong chorus.
A second verse supported by palm-muted guitars feeds into a heavier section of shouty vocals dropping back into the fun riff then a return of the chorus “Learn something new everyday, Are we anymore?, It’s just another cliche, Where did I go wrong?” It gets the album off to a nice rocky start, and you can check it out below:
That’s followed by the excellent Let’s Just Be Lovers, which opens up with a fuzzy riff and stabbing guitars then drops into vocals over palm-muted guitars and a wandering bassline. More intense vocals are answered by a cool little lick and dives into a catchy chorus “Don’t need a new friend, Let’s just be lovers, Won’t go through it again, Let’s just be lovers” over lively guitars and lots of cymbal.
A second chorus gives way to a wah-ridden guitar lick, a little bass filler, then dives into a big smash of the chorus with wild guitars in support. Give it a listen below:
There’s plenty of highly engaging rock throughout and the album closes in style with the delicious We Are Who We Are. It opens up with a chugging riff then palm-muted guitars under punky vocals. Lively vocals combine with heavy guitars in this super-catchy track. Give it a listen below:
On the album, Jim tells us: “Reception to our album has been really good. It is a super high-quality recording so, because we are still an unsigned indie/punk band, many are surprised when they listen. If you haven’t had a chance to listen yet, expect good songwriting combined with tight performance, which resulted in some high energy rock and roll!”
The band pull a range of influences, with Jim telling us he’s big into early glam, like David Bowie and New York Dolls, but really just loves good songwriting. In his words: “If a modern pop star writes or performs something that gets my attention, I listen, and I may listen frequently. I try not to limit myself to any one genre.”
While expanding on the Fear The Spider sound, he adds: “Gritty, honest, fearless. If you haven’t heard us yet, I would say we are a rock and roll band influenced by old school punk, although that is not necessarily the way I write or we sound. We try to add a variation to each song and also not take ourselves too seriously. We like listeners who have an open mind – and aren’t looking to just pigeonhole us as another punk band… because we don’t feel we are.”
There’s plenty more to come from Fear The Spider with the band already back in the studio to work on an EP to follow-up their album. You can see the band at Brass Mug in Tampa in December and at Skybar in Sarasota in January 2020, but expect more gigs to pop up shortly.
While Jim adds: “We definitely appreciate the support people give us. A lot of people have us on their radar due to the exposure and our participation on Reverb Nation. We have been able to gain fans all over the world. Also one of our videos has nearly 5000 views on YouTube. Although it may seem insignificant, it means a lot to me when people come out to see the band, buy our record, watch the video etc…”