In April 2017 Black Spiders gave their fans one final chance to raise their middle fingers aloft and yell "fuck you" at their five, grizzled faces before hanging up their riding capes for good. In the months leading up to their final shows, frontman Pete Spiby was undergoing rehabilitation for an operation on his left hand, which learned physicians say is an important part of the human anatomy when you’re doling out sweet riffs left, right and centre. 'Failed Magician' is the title of Spiby’s new solo release through Be Lucky Records. It’s a sprawling double album of heavy Blues, dense Alt Rock that shows that Spiby still has plenty of fire in his belly! Indeed, there comes a time in a man’s life when the Blues become mandatory listening and this in turn has informed his new songs. For his next trick, he assembled a crack team of ne’er do wells to help bring his ideas to life in the studio with Matt Ellis at the production console. Calling on family and friends, formed over years in music and raising the money through Pledgemusic, Pete was able to release his first solo album.
‘Lightening Bolt’ appropriately starts the double album, a full Rock music track and a great start, which I liked very much, with better things to come. The quietly starting and Bluesy ‘Bible Studies’ is a good tune, building to a catchy sing a long chorus, whilst ‘Friday Night’ is absolute quality, a Bluesy Rock number with brilliant vocals. ‘We Used To Be Friends’ is perhaps not the best track on the album but all the same a good Rock ballad, although in contrast, I really liked ‘Why Not Let Them Come’ - with its good beat to get your feet moving - followed by a big chorus, full of Pete’s expletives!
Also really liked ‘Wrap Me Round Your Little Finger’ - a true traditional Rock track - perhaps the rockiest on the album, plus I also got right into ‘Guiding Light’ with its really good lyrics and great vocals - one of my favourites off of the album. ‘Mary Lous Dawg’ and ‘Working for Mary Jane’ are both good tracks musically, very well played with good vocals - as one would expect from such brilliant musicians. ‘Thrown To The Wolves’ is pure Rock - the heaviest track on the album, with a good riff that draws you into the music and a great track to finish the first CD on. The second CD is an acoustic version of the first CD where Spiby has taken it all back to guitar and vocals and pulled off a triumphant contrast. My favourite track is ‘Thrown To The Blues’, but hey, at the end of the day they are all good, and complement the first CD perfectly. A really good double album, although, if pressed, I preferred the acoustic sounds on the second CD compared to the Heavier Rock and Blues sound on the first CD. But, all in all, still a perfect match.