For an album apparently inspired by various states of human suffering, the self-titled debut effort from California collective, Spice, sure is a lot of fun. Yes, there are fidgety punk rock rhythms here and no shortage of anxiety on the lyric sheet, but there are driving drums, catchy riffing, and a satisfying kitchen-sink approach too. So it is that opener ‘First Feeling’ finds a fuzzy middle ground between alt rock and post punk and gently shimmers just as much as it threatens to completely fall apart, ‘26 Dogs’ turns a Lou Reed bassline and reverberating violin into sun-baked noise, and, while the chorus of a song called ‘Murder’ is literally “Anger, fear, resentment, disgust”, it’s a brilliant, bouncy punk banger. Maybe the opportunity for the band, including erstwhile members of Ceremony, to cut loose was too much fun to hide. Instead of that group’s current carefully-placed, tightly-wound sound, here there are scraps of background noise, songs that do as they please, and frontman Ross Farrar indulging in a wonderful array of yowls and yeahs throughout. Rock piquant.