When it came time to cut a solo album, Spiderbait's co-vocalist and percussive lynchpin Kram had a deceptively simple philosophy. "I wanted it to be like a radio station where all the songs sound like different bands but its all played by one person," he explains. "The premise of the whole album was to be constantly changing your approach musically."
It's hard to believe that it's taken Kram this long to put out a record under his own name. He's long had a restless creative energy that's seen him take part in numerous side-projects, including the rock & roll supergroup The Wrights and Hot Rollers, as well as helping propel Spiderbait to a prominent place in the Australian rock canon. With over half a million records sold and an enduring live popularity, Spiderbait is both a natural starting point and a full stop.
So while you can naturally hear echoes of Kram's work with Spiderbait, Mix Tape gives him the freedom to explore new perspectives. The instrumental palette is sparse but unexpectedly audacious, while the lyrics have a hitherto unheard focus. "It's a luv and rock n roll record," Kram points out. "I made “Good Love" the first song because that says it all: just me and my girl Ree and our little boy Lonnie. Pretty simple but awesome."
With Spiderbait currently on hiatus (although plans are afoot for 21st anniversary activities), Mix Tape is a potent reminder of how Kram has long been a creative force. And now the public's taste for bold, genre-hopping albums has finally caught up with his idiosyncratic outlook. The result, according to Kram, is the soundtrack for a road trip, with each tune moving you down the road and across the musical spectrum. The only problem is that the listener may be tempted to pull over and simply enjoy what they're hearing.
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