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Spider Rockets’ “Casual Violence”

Dirty hard rock is absolutely a thing in 2022, and if you didn’t already know this, a video like Spider Rockets ’s “Casual Violence” is probably going to bring you up to speed pretty quickly. While a lot of artists have found themselves bogged down by a number of angles within the muted rock culture we’ve been living in throughout the majority of the last few years, Spider Rockets is getting on with their career and focusing on the most endearing elements of their sound in a bid to evolve and emerge in 2023 even more skilled and talented than they were prior, and their new single and its video are evidence of as much.  

I like the plush feel of the strings in “Casual Violence,” and despite the title of the track, there’s scarcely a moment in its running time that feels even somewhat closed-in or suffocating in an over-the-top manner. There’s a fantastically open, flowing feel to the guitar parts that brightens up the lyrics like nothing else could have, and rather than drowning the backend with a lot of bass and drums, Spider Rockets stayed efficient with the structure of the arrangement and thus prevents the spotlight from straying away from their emittances.

Though the music video for this single follows a rather familiar formula for those of us who have been keeping with the beat of the American and international undergrounds in 2022, it’s still a nice complement to the source material that isn’t overthought on the part of its creators in any way. Even with the colorful attributes it sports, the simplistic narrative behind the composition stays intact and gets a second life through the presentation of the lyrics in this setting. It’s an affirmation of her minimalistic wit which, at least to a critic like myself, is both droll and illustrates this band’s depth in the most humble of fashions imaginable.  

The harmonies in “Casual Violence” are perhaps the biggest – even if the only – element of true excess here, but they’re necessary to facilitate the catharsis on the other end of the hook as Spider Rockets winds it up for a grand pitch midway through the song’s first act. Our lead singer has got so much energy behind her whether she’s ascending a verse or simply straddling the beat to create a little extended release in a hook, and if critics weren’t already talking about her dexterity in the studio, I think a cut like this will have them doing just that and more soon.  

If you’re into cut-and-dry pop that doesn’t skimp out on a hearty melodic center where and when it counts, I would be lying if I told you “Casual Violence” didn’t appear to have been made with you in mind. Spider Rockets is a serious rock outfit in this release, and with the proper exposure, I think a slice of material like “Casual Violence” could go a long ways towards bringing them some of that highly-coveted mainstream fame and adulation they’ve been working so hard to score.

Mindy McCall 



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