Tracklist1. Spit and Argue
2. Hollow Bodies
4. 2012 Packs
5. Drag Beneath
6. Snakes and Rats
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You know that lame joke about a “seafood diet?” Well, like any punk rock band worth their salt, The Greenery sees chords and they destroy them. Witness “Faceplant”: at a shade over a minute, with its screeching homage to skateboarding and pissy attitude, we could be witnessing an updated, 21st century version of Jodie Foster’s Army. Likewise The Greenery sometimes hangs their hats on Trash Talk fury or, as in the case of “Drag Beneath,” Outbreak and their perma-snot-nosed-punk outlook. Elsewhere, the band comfortably wears a Long Island hardcore hat (“Lowest” could well be an Ice Age cut), the strut of Motorhead, or the moralizing disdain of Death Before Dishonor (album highlight “Tracker”).
Interestingly, the second half ventures away from the punk somewhat and incorporates a lot more of a rollicking metal and hardcore vibe. It is the better half, and actually the much heavier half. I was sort of thrown by this because the best moments early on (both here and on their first two EPs) were where the band just totally cut loose with three-chord abandon. It’s not like that isn’t the case on the b-side either, there’s just more of a sophistication (if you want to call it that) in the way The Greenery impels you to chuck your beer bottles against the wall. For example, “Snakes and Rats,” with its Cancer Bats vibe, and the last three tracks of the album seem to prefer this direction.
Unfortunately, even for a relatively brief release, Spit and Argue is not quite an all-out kamikaze bloodbath. There is potential—lots of it in fact—but with a closer inspection of some of the finer points (again, if you want to call them that), the notion of free-wheeling balls-to-the-wall perfection starts to break down. For one, many of the songs suffer from “parts” syndrome, where a band can have some amazing parts but there are also sections within a song that just feel like a bridge to those standout moments. “2012 Packs” is one such song, where there are some absolutely ripping moments, but others where you want to fast-forward. “Hollow Bodies” has promise, but never quite delivers the pay-off, and album opener and title track is ridden with clichés and doesn’t really go anywhere. The first half of Spit and Argue is really an ebb-and-flow type of experience, where The Greenery tantalizes, but the show doesn’t really get on the road until the second half of the offering.
Overall, though, Spit and Argue shows that punk’s corpse can still shake and rattle a little bit, and with more consistency in the songwriting department I fully expect The Greenery to become a force to be reckoned with.