“Rip Your Heart Out” by Spider Rockets
With a handle like Spider Rockets, you know the music is going to be a little unconventional, and the critically acclaimed rockers live up to their name in the track “Rip Your Heart Out” and its award-winning music video. Borrowing its beat from a Butthole Surfers classic, “Rip Your Heart Out” plays like an homage rather than a recycled take on old school alternative rock revelry, and in the best way possible. The thrust of the drums, the spiked attitude of the vocalist, even the lyrical lashing touches on an adrenaline I hardly ever hear in rock anymore, and it’s definitely a most welcome treat to find this season.
The video’s anime look complements its soundtrack wonderfully, and while there’s a conceptualism to the story it tells that verges on implied masochism, it’s too provocative a watch to turn down. I like that while Spider Rockets can have fun in their verses, they take simplistic themes in this music video and twist them into something utterly twisted and dark. It took me a minute to see the underbelly of this track’s visual component, but when I did, I was all the more enthralled with who this band is, and what they’re creating next.
“Rip Your Heart Out” feels anthemic because of its fiery lead vocal and bumpy, “Moving to Florida”-esque beat, but this is greatly evened out by the ease with which the players connect here. The guitar falls behind the bass and the drums almost elegantly, leaving our singer a lot of space up front to dominate the spotlight with her vibrant voice. They’re operating like a well-oiled machine, which isn’t something that I can say for the majority of independent rock groups trying to make an impression with mainstream audiences these days.
This vocal is ultra-punky, but it’s not flailing about in a mad grab for chaos wherever it can be mustered. Spider Rockets’ have a singer who knows how to be edgy without letting her words slip into a reckless mishmash that a lot of other punk-inspired vocalists create in similarly stylized material. She’s taking a couple of cues from Carrie Akre and Mia Zapata, but there’s really too much of an emotional presence in her delivery for me to write off her attitude as a tip of the cap to grunge’s best goddesses (and no, Courtney Love isn’t on the list). This is all her, even if she does wear her influences on her sleeve.
It feels amazing to hear some real rock n’ roll coming back into the spotlight right now, and if you haven’t already had Spider Rockets on your radar, “Rip Your Heart Out” will probably be the track to sell you on their style. Their discography has made me eager to hear what the future is going to hold for their scene and the hard rock movement as it stands in the post-COVID concert era, but if there’s one song I want to hear them play live more than any other, I think it’s this one. An identity track that feels iconic from the jump, “Rip Your Heart Out” is a good measurement of who and what this band is.