Anxiety Spree


Anxiety Spree The Vinegar Pageant cassette

Third release from upstate New York’s ANXIETY SPREE, which has turned into the solo project of Dominic Armao. Compared to the band’s last release, this is a little more focused, with no signs of the upbeat pop sound found on A Party For the Garden Rats. The instrumental intro to “The Price” reminds me of something you’d hear on a SLINT album, with mostly spoken word, to boot. Even though the lyrics are included, I find myself a bit lost in the metaphors, but that’s OK; I enjoy the syncopated vocals over the angular guitar lines. This self-released project will make you a copy of the tape by request—for four bucks this can be yours!

Anxiety Spree A Party for the Garden Rats cassette

Well, this is a real game of two halves, or rather four alternating quarters perhaps? Tracks one and three are delicious slices of off-kilter pop; drum-machine-propelled chiming melody that recalls the MONOCHROME SET or WIRE in their dreamier moments. The other two songs trade a sliver of the previous pop sensibilities for a more experimental, staccato approach; lurching rhythms and Albini-esque guitars tempered by trombone on “Squared Moon” but pushed to full on SHELLAC noise pummeling on the brief but feisty “This Brush.” All in all, a great little EP and well worth your attention. I keep going back to opener “It’s Fine”… a real hit.

Anxiety Spree Anxiety Spree cassette

While this appears to be a COVID project, I am very much hoping that ANXIETY SPREE from New York City/Chicago will be much more than just that. Musically, this lands somewhere between pop punk, Revolution Summer, and non-pretentious indie rock (if such a thing exists). The recording consists of only two members, both of whom I have seen play in countless bands for the last decade or so. Pleasantly surprised to see that they’re doing a new project together, but not surprised in the slightest that it is as solid as it is.