Spitfire

Cult Fiction

[4/5]

Spitfire’s Cult Fiction depicts an ugly world, with clamorous guitars ringing like sirens. The metallic din and harsh lyrics collaboratively conjure grotesque images: When Jon Spencer shrieks about raw meat, distorted riffs buzz around his words like insect swarms drawn to the carrion. The former Scarlet frontman also waxes apoplectic about miscarriage, disease, “flushed fetal remnants,” dog executions and meth abuse (among other atrocities) in a panicked wail. He sounds as though he’s literally trapped within these claustrophobic compositions, screaming for help as walls of noise close in around him. The songs cycle through frenetic hardcore eruptions, grim dirges, hurricane-eye melodic interludes and eerie atmospheric segments, offering variety (through shifting rhythms, manifold guitar tones and sprinkled keys) but no respite from the relentless ominousness. Cult Fiction is a harrowing horror film of a record; a savage, technically daunting gauntlet that leaves listeners exhilarated but not unscathed. (GOODFELLOW) Andrew Miller