Jasper : 'Cult Fiction' by the American band Spitfire is a perfect example of how progressive hardcore should be played and presented these days. The music is exciting, adventurous, and challenging. To top it off the band presents this gem in a cool looking cardboard package. Some advanced praise is in place here, whether this lot will be able to attract a large audience or not.
With 'Arrhythmia Drift' the band starts furiously in the best indie metalcore traditions of Botch and Coalesce, but there is a lot more to be loved here. With a mixture of styles that places the band somewhere in between Burst and (new) Poison The Well, the versatility of the record is granted. For instance, the piano is a much used instrument on 'Cult Fiction', with a usage varying from a spooky intermezzo to a swinging addition to the riff explosions. And then we have singer Jonathan Spencer, who is able to show the back of his throat in a very Sean Ingram-like manner. He also uses a clean voice, which is of course tricky, but he easily gets away with it. With a band like The End the pathos of those clean passages had the tendency to ruin the momentum of the rougher parts, but Spitifre has their emotions much better under control. Also, there are enough inaccessible hardcore car crashes on the record to get the aggression freaks their adrenaline fix, while the sense of depth is never lost.
Like I started this piece, 'Cult Fiction' simply is a perfect example of how I like my progressive hardcore played these days. If one takes in mind the audiences of bands like PTW and Burst this would mean not an awful lot of people are ready for a band like this. Reason enough for the small crowd that is to embrace Spitfire all the more lovingly.