Black Spiders – Black Spiders (Dark Riders Records)

Black Spiders?

More like welcome back Spiders.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and after four years away there’s a whole lotta love for Sheffield’s anarchic arachnids.

Gone too soon in the minds of many, the Black Spiders crawled back from whence they came in 2017.

A brief but valiant stint battering the eardrums of rock fans the world over spawned underground classics Sons Of The North and This Savage Land.

But just as the ‘Fuck You Black Spiders’ (a joyous term of endearment) call to arms had been honed by wild crowds everywhere, the band suddenly called it a day.

Of course, there’s nothing like a pandemic to bring about a change of heart.

And Black Spiders’ brand of doom-laden, subversive rock is tailor made for a society in flux.

So here we are. 

Eight years after This Savage Land predicted the future, the Spiders’ time is now.

Spiders Men Back To Their Best

The band’s self-titled comeback boasts all the hallmarks of classic Spiders.

Bellowing riffs, biting lyrics and a bucket load of ‘fucks’, it’s the proverbial kick up the backside.

From day one, Pete Spiby and co. put the stoner into the steel city.

But third time around the Spiders come armed with granite-hewn self-confidence and a rock hard refusal to compromise.

Lead single Fly In The Soup is a singalong slice of raging cynicism that gives fellow Yorkshiremen Terrorvision a run for their money.

But it’s Down To The River that’s awash with typically neat Spiders tropes.

Fuck your peace and fuck your love,” spews Spiby.

And shit does he mean it.

Back in the day Black Spiders never beat about the bush.

They never held back. And the band existed in an unbreakable bubble of bullish self-belief.

Safe to say, that bubble never burst.

No Free Ride For Riffmasters

Groove is at the heart of Black Spiders’ reassuring return to form.

And the earworm of a riff underpinning Free Ride tops the lot.

It’s like Scott Gorham just joined Clutch.

Or Graveyard went back in time to jam with Gary Moore during his Thin Lizzy days.

That fucking good.

The title of the best tune here is, of course, deeply ironic.

Black Spiders never got a free ride. Ever.

In fact, the band’s first decade-long run was built on a work ethic that deserved so much more.

No Luck No Bones maintains the reflective theme but Spiby isn’t bitter about the past.

Far from it.

Black Spiders’ self-titled assault on the senses is all about the future. 

And a glorious one at that.

Good Times For Black Spiders

Spiby and guitarist Ozzy Lister had penned 40 new songs prior to their hotly anticipated return to action.

And it’s immediately clear that the chosen few represent the best of the best for Black Spiders MkII.

Even a potentially career-blighting cover of Good Times is handled with typical aplomb.

Of course, Spiby and Lister’s partnership always screamed potential.

Like Lemmy and Phil Campbell, theirs is an intuitive alliance born to raise hell.

But there’s no doubt that the addition of drummer Wyatt Wendel has added fresh impetus to the Spiders’ rigid core.

The Planet Rock DJ stepped in when ‘Tiger’ Si Anderson ruled himself out of Spiby’s reunion.

And if Wendel is still waiting to play alongside his new band mates in person, his studio work is impeccable.

Now all that’s left is to raise a middle finger and bellow ‘FUBS’ in the faces of Spiby’s Spider men.

That day can’t come soon enough.