Spiderbait's hirsute co-vocalist and percussive lynchpin Kram, debuted his solo album Mix Tape live at the Meredith Music Festival in December 08.
When it came time to cut the solo album, Kram had a deceptively simple philosophy, 'I wanted it to be like a radio station where all the songs sound like different bands but its all played by one person' he explains. ''The premise of the whole album was to be constantly changing your approach musically."
One listen to Mix Tape - released March 14th on Universal Music and you'll grasp exactly what he means. The 15 tracks veer from spooky Prince-like soul (Burnin' Sands) and storming fuzz rock (Good Love) to melancholic country ballads (Won't Be Home Tonight) and funky pop jams that could be a lo-fi Scissor Sisters (Satellite). It's an eclectic, invigorating collection of songs that fits with its creator's clear intentions.
Kram has long had a restless creative energy that's seen him take part in numerous side-projects, including the rock & roll supergroup The Wrights and Hot Rollers, as well as helping propel Spiderbait to a prominent place in the Australian rock canon.
With over half a million records sold and an enduring live popularity, Spiderbait is both a natural starting point and a full stop. So while you can naturally hear echoes of Kram's work with Spiderbait, Mix Tape gives him the freedom to explore new perspectives. The instrumental palette is sparse but unexpectedly audacious, while the lyrics have a hitherto unheard focus.
With Spiderbait currently on hiatus (although plans are afoot for 21st anniversary activities), Mix Tape is a potent reminder of how Kram has long been a creative force. And now the public's taste for bold, genre-hopping albums has finally caught up with his idiosyncratic outlook.