Reaching back a little into the past this week, "What's Spinning" grabs a copy of Ricky Fitts and his Git's acoustic album all the way from Las Cruces.
"How Long Did You Think I Was Going to Hold This In" might seem like a mouthful of words for an album, but the record is actually a heavy load of songs straight from the heart of a musician with many different capes. As the frontman for punk rock trio Mendel & Meiosis, "Fitts" takes an acoustic turn toward nostalgia with this collection of songs written between 2011 and 2012. "How Long" brings melodic pop-punk style to the unplugged center stage with anger, love, passion and a trusty "git."
"A Work in Progress" starts the album off with a classic 1-2-3-4 count into a haunting line that grabs listeners right off the bat. By adding "sometimes I wonder if you're listening to me," Fitts commands attention in the sense that he is reaching out to someone with the album. The vocal harmonies in the background are a bit different, and the addition of overdubbing Fitts' voice, combined with the soulful nature of the vocals, instantly sets this album apart.
While the album is a mix of fast and slow jams, "The Random Thoughts" is a good change of pace that mixes melodic chord structures with anger and angst. The lead guitar behind the scenes here displays the true talent hidden within this album that many might write off simply because it isn't on a shelf for the low price of $15.99. Despite the lack of corporate promotion, "How Long" keeps pounding gems, such as "The Random Thoughts" and keeps the attention well focused on the music.
Take the electricity out of most pop punk bands of the 2000s and chances are the result will come out sounding a lot like "A New Way to Look Cute." The song gives the atmosphere of being at a party, surrounded by people who you have something to say to, but you can't get anything out, and then it all comes out to all of them at once.
The great thing about this album is the number of words poured out in each song by Fitts. Each verse is a perfectly crafted and thought-out faucet of lyrics contrary to the mindless babble that spews out of the radio.
Moving through the album, "Don't Leave the Yard Until Age 8," stops the listener with its guitar line that sounds a little out of tune. The technicality distracts only for a second due to the massive shift in the album, which brings a more intense strumming pattern and vocals that sound like Fitts is talking directly in your ear. As one of the more instrumental songs on the album, "Don't Leave," displays raw talent in this guitar player with the time signature change up and the use of leads combined with melodies.
"I don't even know how to get myself on track," Fitts cries out in "Which Way Out of the Woods," a song that explores the complexities of social situations of uncertainty. The song explores the idea that none of us really know what we are doing on this earth and that we get angry when someone acts like they have a leg up on the rat race.
When everyone is living the same lives, are we really in positions to say one path is better than the other? Are we really at liberty to discuss right from wrong when both end up in the same place in the end? The song is a great example of the thought process of the album and is a good mix between frustration and curiosity.
Overall, "How Long" is an incredible collection of songs. At least one tune on this album will suit just about anyone's taste from slow jams to high speed and high-energy punk rock. Putting an acoustic guitar in the hands of someone like Fitts is an experiment that renders a type of monster worthy of a Mary Shelley novel.
You can't pinpoint a genre or an exact style because this artist doesn't limit himself to only one. Instead, he traverses the musical landscape with grace by combining several elements of punk, hardcore and rock 'n' roll into this mixing bowl.
Fans of any "unplugged" performance of their favorite bands should grab this album and spend an afternoon listening. "How Long" will instantly make those old tapes of "Punk Goes Acoustic" obsolete.
Check out Ricky Fitts and his Git at rickyfittsandhisgit.bandcamp.com/album/how-long-did-you-think-i-was-going-to-hold-this-in