Stop Doing Bad Things

[5] The road can do strange things to a band. Take Spitalfield: After the release of 2003’s one-sided emo-pop disc Remember Right Now, this suburban Chicago quartet spent the better part of 18 months traversing North America, essentially seeing the same stretches of highway, sleeping on the same floors and playing the same eight songs hundreds of times more than any human should be subjected to. It’s that sort of insanity/monotony mixture that turned four fresh-faced teens into intelligent rock musicians and songwriters who are simultaneously able to put powerful anthems like “Building A Better City By Design” next to goofball tracks like the Piebald-influenced “Tampa Bum Blues.” It’s even more mind-bending how a song with an obscure Saturday Night Live in-joke for a title (“Texa$ With A Dollar Sign”) can be one of the most serious cuts on the disc; yet, once you hear the cascading guitars in “The Future Is Now,” you’re willing to let it go. Spitalfield’s schizophrenia has paid off in spades on Stop Doing Bad Things; here’s to the next year and a half on the road. (VICTORY)-Scott Heisel