Every city and every club has its local acts. The garage bands that work weekends to perfect their sound and spend their weeknights opening for bigger acts or headlining smoky clubs with a dedicated but very local fan-base. This very important subculture is music's answer to baseball's farm-system – the richly talented minor leagues that play their hearts out for small crowds day-in and day-out and who may – just may – some day break through to the majors.
And many of them sound like Arkansas's Spiritual Meaning. Basic metal, not very progressive, driven by head-nodding rhythms and riffs and a singer with an anger and attitude that defines the band's collective persona. Vocalist Wes Parker sounds like a young Kurt Cobain – raw, atonal, hoarse, and actually fairly effective. There are no keyboards. Lead guitarist Dan White plays a few short solos, and one piece has both guitarists trading solos. The band should capitalize on those solos – they're quite nice and would add an important flavor to the otherwise monotonous instrumentation, and help separate one track from the next.
A few brief observations: This is a short 6-track 23-minute indie disc with – apparently – everything being home-spun. Production on Lurker In The Dark is a real problem. The whole vibe, the song names and some of the lyrics have a doom-like, satanic aura, and the cover art is a hideously demonic Exorcist-like image that exudes the very antithesis of any spiritual meaning. The lyrics are quite good on the whole, and are certainly a cut above Spiritual Meaning's peers. The CD wouldn't play in some players, and has a problem playing in a PC's CD-drive.
There's nothing inherently wrong with Lurker In The Dark. In baseball terms this is a solid A-ball team. With more inspired instrumentation and better production, they just may make it to the AA league.
- Lurker In The Dark (4:43)
- House Of Blood (5:07)
- The Angels Cry (5:50)
- Lessons In Evil (2:50)
- Burning Fever (4:18)
- Shadows (5:15)