She can’t expect much radio play, not only because of the name she has adopted but the subject matter of her songs — she’s a transgender former heroin addict and addresses sex, love and drugs in her lyrics.
Still, she’s signed to Partisan Records, home to Idles and Fontaines DC, so one could perhaps expect this Melbourne performer to make some (smack-free) waves. Funny how a smackhead on your street is a pest but a smackhead singing is art.
The Press notes say Spike is inspired by “love and obsession, addiction, sexual disorientation and Catholic guilt” and — unexpectedly — washed up country musicians who nearly made it and then didn’t.
The opener Junkie Logic has the narrator trying to give up drugs despite all the problems they bring, from dead friends to the waste of one’s life. You get the impression this is a regular theme of drug users, and the refrain about not getting to heaven until he’s clean can be taken two ways — he (or she) wants to get clean or he wants to die.
Guts is a love song that appears to be drug related, while Tomorrow We Get Healthy combines love and drugs: “There’s another person in me / And I know they’re not as kind / And they’ll take all of your money” sings Spike, despite the girl being “You’re the only one / Who looked inside”. The closer is 3.30 Psychosis, more of the same.
Musically, he’s somewhere between Jonathan Richman for the nasal vocals and Velvet Underground, but more melodic than either; underneath it all, these are pleasant pop tunes, and there are some nice moments. Surprisingly good and well worth listening to.