Spencey Dude & the Doodles - Night Problems LP
Night Problems, the long awaited full-length follow up to their 2009 Flirting 7" (Rob's House Records), finds San Francisco's Spencey Dude & the Doodles continuing to sing about girls, TV, and this crazy mixed-up world over the span of 16 perfectly imperfect pop song bursts, any one of which could've been a single's A-side. But instead of putting out a bunch of singles, the Doodles have combined these hits onto one 12" chunk of vinyl and are passing the savings onto their fans, preserving countless vinyl trees and costing the record plant industry a fortune in lost single pressing revenue. This is THE Summer BBQ album you've been waiting for (if you BBQ plastic on the grill in your grandparents' basement with your 2 mutant friends). Has a catchier album ever been recorded? Why do these 30-somethings with crummy jobs write and play garage pop songs for stoned teenagers? Why ask why, drink Bud Dry! This album is everything you hoped it would be and, of course, a whole heck of a lot more.
Features Oscar Michel (Gris Gris, Dutchess & the Duke), Anna Hillburg (Dreamdate), and Spencer Hicks (whatevz). Recorded by Greg Ashley at the Creamery in Oakland, CA.
from Get Bent:
It takes a band like Spencey Dude & The Doodles to remind you that shit isn’t so goddamn serious, that the best rock n’ roll will always be escapist trash about french kissing the girl you love. “She can’t let go because her tongue is in my mouth”?! That’s GENIUS! If you think garage rock is supposed to have any more significance and weight than that, then I feel sorry for you. Night Problems is the type of record that will have you crushing beers and dancing around like a jackass.Spencey Dude & The Doodles are old favorites of mine. (Yeah, it’s a little bit silly to refer to a 2009 debut as an “old favorite.”) Their first 7”, released by Rob’s House and still in print for those without, is probably one of the most FUN records in my entire collection. Snotty and bubblegummy and loud and nerdy and unpretentious, it floated below the radar of most folks amidst the explosion of garage rock from the Bay Area. Truth be told, I’d almost forgotten about them until Night Problems popped up on Bandcamp back in April. Spencey and crew have made up for
the extended absence by cramming sixteen short, sharp tracks on their first piece of wax, and it’s a record that totally reaffirmed my love of this modern garage thing with its disarming simplicity and energy.
I guess any record will become your favorite if you listen to it 200 times, but few records make you want to play it 200 times to favoritize it. Nasty vomit party pop punk meets cuddly cute indie friend punk meets rock n roll history school. Reminds me of seeing your girlfriend vomit and going “Awwwww!” like you just saw a kitten open her cute eyes wide.
Obnoxious party record meets innocent cuddle punk. They fall in love but it doesn’t last, so they have a horrific breakup and resolve to spend the rest of their natural lives lobbing insults at each other. This is pretty much what “Night Problems”, the long awaited first LP from Oakland’s Spencey Dude and the Doodles, sounds like to me. Though they’ve got a cutesy-pie name, this band isn’t here to sing songs of love and friendship (no complaints; Lord knows there’s enough of that out there), but instead to ridicule the travails of adult life in the snottiest of snot rag tones with plenty of profanity and sex to boot. Looking for good taste? Look elsewhere. Just not at the cover, which depicts the band in cartoon form plummeting from the Golden Gate Bridge. One might call “Night Problems” an instruction manual to being 30 on the outside but 13 on the inside a.k.a. being a dude.
The best songs on the record have the heavy chords and brutal angstiness of early Weezer, before Rivers decided being a straight up rock star was better than being a hero to legions of sex-starved nerds. So: no crazy guitar solos and no deep thoughts, just big ol’ fuzzed out guitars, nasty (yet funny) lyrics, and boy-girl vocalizing placed front and center. Song topics range from the stupid (“Party Girl”) to the gross (“We Can Do It”) to the vaguely optimistic (“No More Pizza”, a sort of goofy straight-edge anthem), but I enjoyed how basely angry the band seems throughout. Even within a sweetly twee song like “This Love Can’t Die” is embedded the knife-twisting lyric “You know it’s over now/So take your final bow/And keep my stupid name out your mouth.”
from Doginasweater's Music Reviews:
Let's get this out of the way up front - despite the name, Spencey Dude & the Doodles is not a kids band. Do not go into this expecting a newer, hipper Raffi. Not saying they wouldn't play for some kids, it's just the songs might be about drinking and partying and making out instead of the alphabet. Stop sheltering your damn children I say. Anyways, the debut LP by this Bay Area trio (featuring members of Gris Gris and Dreamdate) is catchy. And I mean real fuckin' catchy. I guess you'd just call it simple, dumb garage pop, and that's not intended as an insult at all. It's probably the lyrical content but my first impression was this reminded me a little of Mean Jeans minus the heavy Ramones influence, or maybe Coconut Coolouts minus band members wearing banana suits. The album starts off with an Enigma sample and then covers 17 songs in a little over 27 minutes - there is no fucking around here, except that it is all the musical equivalent to fucking around. More specifically, this sounds like an afternoon drunk in someone's backyard, maybe playing some horseshoes and firing up the barbeque, possibly passing out on the couch by eight o'clock. I dig it.
from Uncle Critic:
Spencey Dude & the Doodles is here with their full length debut album on California Clap Records. It’s got sixteen great songs that you’re bound to relate to. You need a song about a girl? They’ve got it. How about one about TV? They’ve got it. Pizza? That’s covered too. They’ve got a great catchy rock sound, it’s like a lo-fi rock band if most of those bands were recorded so shitty. It’s got the great combination of catchy rock songs and recording that doesn’t strain your ears to hear. Any garage rock/lo-fi rock, or just catchy rock fans in general should check this one out.
Snotty Oakland punk with short songs about girls, pizza, and more girls. Fans of Lookout Records, immaturity, and dudes talking about girls will dig this.
from The Bay Bridged:
For what feels like years, we’ve been awaiting the debut LP from SF’s Spencey Dude & the Doodles, and Night Problems is well worth the delay. The band isn’t as prolific as some of its peers, but there’s no shortage of killer hooks on the Greg Ashley-recorded album.
Release Date: June, 2012.
Pressing Details: 500 pressed; black vinyl.