On the Beat

August 7, 2014

The best rock picks, August 8

The new Spider Bags album “Frozen Letter” is epic, transportive and all-around grand. They’ll play live Friday at the Pinhook in Durham.

Most of the time, it’s not a good thing when a record seems longer than it actually is. But that’s the case for Spider Bags’ fantastic new album “Frozen Letter” (Merge Records), and it’s in the best possible way. After “Frozen Letter” ends after just 33 minutes and change, you’ll find yourself thinking that there’s just no way a record so short could be as epic, transportive, wide-ranging and all-around grand as this one is. And yet it is, with the trio of singer-guitarist Dan McGee, bassist Steve Oliva and drummer Rock Forbes crushing eight songs in a pulverizing display of garage-band awesomeness. Of particular note is “Chem Trails,” an absolute fireball of a drum-driven rave-up that probably has the late great Keith Moon’s ghost smiling somewhere. Spider Bags will show off “Frozen Letter” live on Friday at The Pinhook in Durham. The music starts at 10 p.m. and cover is $10. See thepinhook.com for details.

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