Kind of Like Spitting – Bridges Worth Burning

Kind of Like Spitting
Bridges Worth Burning

Bridges Worth Burning marks a new era for Kind of Like Spitting and in many aspects is a new beginning with elements falling in line to renew the project’s validity. I can only assume that the title of the record comes from bitter sentiments left over from Ben towards past members of the band and the short-term breakup that took place shortly after. The band was originally founded in the Portland, Ore. area by singer songwriter Ben Barnett as an outlet for the deep-rooted pain he experienced throughout his life. After a number of full length records and a slew of EPs and 7″s, the band essentially came to stand-still and departed for a short bit. This threw frontman Ben Barnett for a loop and put him into a darker period of his life where he was searching for some sort of meaning. As luck would have it, Benjamin Gibbard (frontman for Death Cab for Cutie) came to the rescue, offering to do all in his power to save the band from the verge of extinction. Slowly the band began to practice once – again with Gibbard playing drums this time – and continued to write new material. When solidfied songs were written by the band, they eventually recorded and signed a deal with Barsuk Records (home of DCFC). Things began to get substantially better for the band when new players entered such as guitarist David J. who gave the band a renewed sense of purpose and direction.
My only basis for comparison on Bridges Worth Burning is KOLS’s 1999 release Nothing Makes Sense Without It. The two albums are about as different as night and day. Nothing… was for the most part a slower, cleaner sounding guitar, a violin added to the mix, intricate and much more depressing. Bridges… on the other hand is much more rocking and genuinely sounds a lot happier with just a brief touch of melancholy. I can only speculate Barnett is a much happier person these days with the current project and the current state of his life falling into line. What defines KOLS and is present throughout all of their material is Barnett’s unique vocal stylings. He is more than capable of singing some of the most depressing and miserable lyrics imaginable while the next minute belting out a terrific manic chorus.
The album starts out with “Passionate,” a more rocking number with full sounding guitars, a distorted bassline, intricate drumming, and extremely intense manic vocals. The best part of the number is an intricate rocking lead guitar part that leaves a catchy motif in the listener’s mind for days. “We Are Both Writers” and “Born Beautiful” are also upbeat songs that tend to be less intricate and rely heavily on Barnett’s vocals to make the song memorable. “He Calls Me” is a softly sung depressing acoustic number, which is more akin to older KOLS and showcases the bands ability to write sincere slow songs. “Following Days” is another upbeat number, sounding somewhat very reminiscent of earlier Death Cab for Cutie material. “I Want Out” and “Canaries” are slower songs that are full of indie-pop melancholy.
The two tracks on the album are my favorite by far are “Crossover Potential,” which has a really intricate guitar part along with some really nicely sung vocals, and “Untitled,” a short track featuring a duet with Barnett and Gibbard on acoustic guitars and vocals. It sounds absolutely incredible and is a fitting end to what was already a great indie pop record.