About halfway through the winding country-punk stomper “My Heart Is a Flame in Reverse,” which opens the B-side of Spider Bags' forthcoming record, Someday Everything Will Be Fine, frontman Dan McGee hits on a pithy aphorism filled with beautiful and brutal truth.
“To live is to suffer and smile,” he croaks, “and to succeed at anything, you must fail for a long while.” I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in that line, especially during these trying times.
Someday Everything Will Be Fine comes four years after the band's Merge Records debut, Frozen Letter, and the intervening years spent off the road and holed up in rehearsal rooms—when they weren’t backing Reese McHenry, that is—were crucial in enabling Spider Bags to ascend to new levels of aural punch and perspective.
“We had gone as far as we could go with touring all the time, and cranking out singles and our own records,” McGee said in a press release. “I really wanted to see what would happen if we were just concentrating on material instead of preparing for shows. We were really able to focus on maybe 12, 14 songs—knowing we were going to have to bring them down to 10—and I think it’s a better record for it."
The band tracked the record to tape in Memphis at Bunker Audio with Andrew McCalla, who also engineered Spider Bags’s 2012 record, Shake My Head, and got Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus and Memphis luminaries like Jack Oblivian and Jana Misener to make guest appearances. Indeed, Memphis’s sweltering swagger osmosed into band’s songs during the recording sessions; you can hear it on the minute-long blast of "Cop Dream/Black Eye (True Story)," too.
Someday Everything Will Be Fine is out Aug. 3 via Merge Records; Spider Bags celebrate its release on Aug. 2 in the Cat’s Cradle Back Room in Carrboro.
(Disclosure: Spider Bags bassist Steve Oliva is the INDY's art director.)