rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 05/23/2008
Andy Spitson - All Eyes On You
Independent Release © 2008
Reviewed by Gary Hill
out of

What a difference a couple years can make! When I reviewed Andy Spitson’s first EP a couple years back at this very site, I found it to show promise. I also thought that it was lacking terms of variety with a monolithic texture. Well, Spitson listened and has given us a new EP that’s worlds better than that first one.

This is being billed as a preview of his upcoming full CD and if these four tracks are any indication, that’s going to be a great disc. The music here covers a number of different musical territories, but all of it shows off the fact that Spitson is a great songwriter. The vocals tend to have a bit of a punky texture and at times remind me of Elvis Costello. Spitson is not only a good songwriter, but also a solid guitarist. His solos on this disc, while not the kind of thing that will cause your mouth to hang open (who wants to swallow bugs anyway?) are always tasty and show a musician with an understanding of the nuances of his instrument.

Since we’ve only got four tracks here, it seems like a good idea to take a look at them one at time. Spitson leads the set off with “No Place Like Your Heart.” At four minutes, it’s the longest cut on the CD. It has an almost progressive rock feel to it at times. The overall effect, though, is of a catchy alternative pop rocker. This one probably comes the closest to the musical textures of the last EP, feeling like quite a natural extension of that sound. It’s a good opener.

Next up Spitson takes us to “First, It’s the Crush.” The track contains the title to the disc within its lyrics and has a punky, rock and roll texture to it. It’s a fairly basic rocker that’s both fun and tasty. You’ll probably make out equal parts Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones here (with a bit of The Black Crowes thrown in for good measure).

“Dear Friend” is next in line. In some ways this track earns the Elvis Costello stamp more than the rest of the music here. Truly the keyboard laden, retro sounding song structure and arrangement could be taken for a Costello song. The vocals on the chorus are nearly a dead ringer, too. The singing on the verse, though, is the best of the disc and sounds nothing like Costello. The guitar soloing on this track is the tastiest of the set.

The closer is “Hand Jives & High 5ives.” The track is an old school rock and roller that is firmly rooted in Chuck Berry territory. The vocals probably bring it closer to the Beatles take on this – think “Twist and Shout.”  In fact, that title is used in the midst of the lyrics to this one. It’s a cool way to end this set.

With this EP Spitson has really shown that he’s got what it takes. This is a great disc that is without question the new and improved model. As a taste of what’s to come with his full CD it has me waiting with bated breath for that release.

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