The ever mercurial musical entity that is Spider Kitten began some two decades ago at a South Wales art college, when founders Chi Lameo and ptew began creating dark ambient soundscapes. Chi's obsession with Earth's Dylan Carlson soon found guitar drones a large part of their sound.
Ever searching for new sonic possibilities, the duo expanded to a four piece backed by a drum machine for their debut album Ineffable in 2007. The real breakthrough came in 2010 with the addition of Chris West (ex-Taint, current-Made Of Teeth) on drums. Chris and Chi found they had fearsome synergy and would go on to write the bulk of the band's songs together.
Over the next few years Spider Kitten would go on to make huge strides in terms of sound and experimentation, as well as garnering critical acclaim for the likes of 2013's Cougar Club and their stunning debut for Undergroove Records, Behold Mountain; Hail Sea, Venerate Sky, Bow Before Tree in 2014, a trilogy of Viking epics inspired by Chris' Danish heritage.
Perhaps the peak (so far) of the band's recorded output came with 2016's Ark Of Octofelis, a nihilistic and acid drenched, prog rock concept album that scored many a 5 star review.
Shortly after this frontman Chi's mental health issues forced Spider Kitten into live hiatus, their last show being 2016's Desertfest in Camden. But far from being deterred the band split off into a noise rock, no wave side project dubbed Kitten Youth to release some EPs as catharsis. Revitalised by the recruitment of Steve-o Jones (ex-The Witches Drum, current-Made Of Teeth) on bass, and Gareth Day (ex-Hogslayer, current-Obey Cobra) on guitar, the band set to recording 2018's wonderfully bleak Concise And Sinister which embraced Chi and Chris' love of country music, albeit through a sludge metal lens.
After a few more years in the wilderness of breakdowns and health issues, the band reconvened for 2021's grunge passion project Major Label Debut, this time with Steve-o on drums and Chris on bass.
As of 2022 Spider Kitten have 30 official releases, each one recorded and mixed by Chi himself. Genres range from doom and sludge to country, ambient and even classical. Lyrically Chi uses a playful humour to convey tales from the darker side of the human psyche: murder, suicide, mental illness, addiction, no topic is so bleak that it can't be handled with a wry smile.
In 2022, after working on an album that obsessed him to the point of madness, Chi finally finished mixing it and sent a copy to APF Records. Turns out they're crazy enough to release it...
A Pound For The Peacebringer. Landing on APF Records 1st September 2023.
Words: Mark Hunt-Bryden
- Chi Lameo - vocals, guitar
- Chris West - drums
- Steve-o Jones - bass
- Gareth Day - guitar
A Pound For The Peacebringer