Indie Band Guru August 2021
Saturday, 07 August 2021 15:37

By Scott Carlito

There isn’t anything in this life quite like heartbreak, and in Spider Rockets’ breakup-lamenting “Rip Your Heart Out,” ruing past lovers isn’t exactly the narrative at hand. This is a track about the most vicious kind of pain transference around, and if its cutting lyrics don’t paint a clear enough picture for you, its anime-style music video definitely will. The sum of this release is simple: Spider Rockets have no time for cutesy rock n’ roll B.S., and their unrelenting mixture of hard rock panache and punk rock rhythm really does speak for itself.

The guitar is the hardest element in the mix, but it doesn’t overshadow what the bass, drums, or singer does for the cohesiveness of the song. There’s just no competing with the guttural crunch of its strings in a couple of key spots closer to the conclusion of “Rip Your Heart Out,” and while this might be considered out of fashion among contemporary alternative rock acts, it doesn’t sound like a throwback when Spider Rockets do it. They’re transcendent of eras here, and this is mostly because of how much heart they’re lending these lyrics and the formidable wall of overdriven melodicism framing them.

Watch the video for “Rip Your Heart Out”

It might be pretty cool to hear this at a higher tempo, and I wouldn’t put it past Spider Rockets to give “Rip Your Heart Out” a Black Flag-like twist if performing in the right circumstances. You can tell they’re just itching to come undone between the swinging beats of this song, and in a live show, I don’t imagine them being able to restrain the energy as much as they can in this instance. Self-control matters in the studio, but only to the degree that it advertises the animalistic side of your sound, which is what this band gets so right in this track.

Spider Rockets have been around for a while now, but their sound is as fresh as ever in the music video for “Rip Your Heart Out.” There haven’t been many rock bands worth discussing outside of short-form indie press articles and internet clickbait from the left side of the pop music lexicon, but this is a group that might have the right muscle to get heavy music back into the mainstream spotlight it once ruled as little as a few years ago. The bottom line – it’s difficult to step away from “Rip Your Heart Out” without calling yourself a Spider Rockets fan, as I learned firsthand just recently.
Music Existence August 2021
Tuesday, 03 August 2021 12:00
Single Review: Spider Rockets “Rip Your Heart Out”

By Christian Vedder

Hard rock doesn’t have to be riff-centric, and I get the idea that Spider Rockets want to get this point across to the listeners in their song “Rip Your Heart Out” and its four-time prize-winning video. Instead of giving us one fat riff to follow and a lot of basic rock attributes to support it, this band drops a violent assault from the vocalist back to the bass player here, annihilating comparisons to other alternative rockers before we even have the chance to make them. These players don’t care what the mainstream is doing – to them, rock isn’t just about guitars or threads, but the personality of the material itself.

This beat is bludgeoning, but it’s also an element of the disciplined execution that Spider Rockets have come to be known for in their scene over the past ten years. They don’t include filler in their music not only because their work doesn’t need it, but because it would get in the way of their giving up as sterling a performance as possible every time. The drums weigh on the bassline just enough to make for a pressurized chorus and a vocal riding atop the carnage at stadium-level volume; it all works because everything is even, and not thanks to some predictable sonic centerpiece.

This is a band totally unafraid of their own strength and moxie, and if I were one of their peers I would be seriously taking note of the brawn they’re sporting in this signature single. Spider Rockets haven’t got nearly as much love from the media as they likely deserve in the last half-decade, but this track is a testament to what their music and their attitude toward creativity are all about. Some might be inclined to call them members of a dying breed in rock, but for me, they’re potential saviors worth elevating to the primetime this summer.

Madness to Creation March 2018
Saturday, 10 March 2018 09:46
‘Along Came A Spider’ album review by Madness To Creation

Headbanger’s parking lot!

Out of New Jersey comes a band that brings back the studded spiked leather jackets, the mohawks, the piercings, and the endless amount of tattoos, and that band in New Jersey’s own Spider Rockets. On January 26th, Spider Rockets unleashed their latest record entitled ‘Along Came A Spider’ via P-Dog Records.

Spider Rockets is composed of Helena Cos on vocals, Johnny Nap on guitars, while Dale Whitaker and Jimmy Mui round out the rhythm section. They create their music for those that just want to rock, those that blare their music while waiting for the next big concert to come through town, and music that is meant for a bunch of sweaty people packed in a club like sardines and just want to leave their cares and troubles behind and want to sweat it out by rocking out to some fist-pumping rock, and Spider Rockets has the anecdote to the ills of the world.

Helena Cos immediately showcases her sass and Pat Benatar type of attitude in the first two songs “Rip Your Heart Out” and “Love It When You’re Wrong”. It seems to showcase a biographical sketch of how she wants the rockstar lifestyle, is out to prove people wrong, and is out with a vengeance to show that women do belong in the world of rock music. The songs talk about how we need to rise above the haters and rise above the heartbreaks that we face in our relationships in our lives.

Speaking of Pat Benatar, there is an homage to her as they cover “Heartbreaker” in this record, in this you see some subtle electronic hooks, with a great rhythm section and a hard driving guitar. I really appreciate the modern twist that Spider Rockets put on the song.

There is fun and fist-pumping anthems in this album that showcases the throwback feel that Spider Rockets are showcasing in this album with “Drama Gore” and “Hey Hey”, Spider Rockets showcases the anthem feel to the tracks and those feelgood vibes for those that just want to rock.

If you’re tired of the frills and the gimmicks, then look no further than “Along Came A Spider” by Spider Rockets. This record is just a fun listen that brings back the mood of just wanting to rock, and Spider Rockets will bring the rock through your stereo with the great guitar work, driving rhythm section, and the sassy strong vocals led by Helena Cos.

Madness To Creation gives this an 8 out of 10 stars.

Dead Rhetoric February 2018
Monday, 19 February 2018 00:00
By Kyle McGinn

Album Review: SPIDER ROCKETS – ‘Along Came a Spider’

RATING: 8/10

With twenty years and four previous albums under their belts, New Jersey’s Spider Rockets are far from a new act. In fact, their approach to rebellion and rock ‘n roll is one that’s firmly rooted in the past. But it hasn’t kept them stuck there, with their fifth album ‘Along Came a Spider’ being a showcase for an amalgamation of classic rock and hard rock (with some occasional punk attitude) that can just as easily stand with more modern giants.

While it could be argued that Spider Rockets’ approach is more of a straight-forward one, it’s also all about jam-packing as many catchy guitar melodies and solos, ear-burrowing hooks, and enjoyable choruses into each track. From the more bluesy and fuzzy guitar lines of the opener “Rip Your Heart Out” to spunky licks with plenty of attitude on “Drama Gore,” there’s a lot of energy that instantly grabs your attention. The short but sweet cuts do seem to maximize what happens in the song length (generally about 3-ish minutes each), and the band seems highly attuned to keeping each track thrusting forward towards its goal. The utterly catchy “Love it When You’re Wrong” not only has a massive chorus but they manage to include an effective guitar lead and equally gripping main riff. Helena Cos’ vocals are quite dynamic and absorbing, just what a band like this needs, with the final one-two punch of “Losing It” and “Sick” being great examples of what she can accomplish at both the more melodic and rockin’ ends.

The bottom line on ‘Along Came a Spider’ is that it personifies fun and engaging rock ‘n roll at its finest. They can channel the olden days (such as the enjoyable and fitting cover of Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker”) but can include a more modern and contemporary vibe to stay relevant. And with a compact timeframe that never slows down, it’s a suitable ‘crank it with the windows down on repeat’ type release.
New Jersey Stage February 2018
Friday, 09 February 2018 00:00
New Jersey Notes: Spider Rockets at The Brighton Bar

By Bob Beucler

Spider Rockets brought its tight, punk-infused power rock to The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018, as part of a showcase of rock and metal acts hosted by New Jersey’s own champion of the scene, Don Jamieson of That Metal Show fame.

Spider Rockets is a classic four-piece line-up that blasted through its set with strong chops and dynamic stage presence. The group’s aggressive brand of power rock is fronted by Helena Cos, whose roaring vocals are full of passion and emotion. Her color palette is provided by guitarist Johnny Nap, bassist Jimmy Mui and drummer Dale Whitaker.

One can tell a lot about a player’s equipment of choice, and Nap’s rig is pure rock: a Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall half-stack. It screamed and his playing had a biting tone that was the gritty foil for Cos’ melodic vocals. Mui and Whitaker are perfect anchors for Cos and Nap: Mui being content to hang to his side of the stage and let Cos and Nap take the spotlight while he laid down thundering bass lines and provided backing vocals. Whitaker is an exceptional rock and metal drummer who kept it solid, choosing to cut loose when the songs called for it. There isn’t a weak player in Spider Rockets; all are essential to the sound and attitude that the band has. It’s obvious that the band had put a lot of work into its music and its set - Spider Rockets is polished and pro.

Spider Rockets: Helena Cos (vocals), Johnny Nap (guitar), Jimmy Mui (bass), Dale Whitaker (drums).

Text & photos by Bob Beucler. Bob is a lifelong a musician and fan of rock photography who lives in central New Jersey. You can see more of his photography at

Metal Nexus January 2018
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 00:00
Album Review: SPIDER ROCKETS – ‘Along Came a Spider’

By Jaime Regadas

If you’ve been on the prowl for innovative rock artists during the last couple of decades or so, one group that may have crossed your path is New Jersey-based Spider Rockets. Celebrating the twentieth anniversary since their initial formation, the group are set to release their fifth studio album, ‘Along Comes a Spider’ which marks yet another evolution for the group as a songwriting unit. With new producer Dan Malsch (Framing Hanley, Tantric, Doro) involved in the thick of it, the group are keen yet again to introduce a different sound to their repertoire. The group’s first three studio recordings during the early 2000s were produced by Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans, The Dresden Dolls, John Zorn, Herbie Hancock, Helmet, Unsane, White Zombie) and later Eric Rachel (Atreyu, Black Dahlia Murder, Hatebreed, Patti Smith Group, Misfits etc) which was more than enough to secure their notability within the emerging artistic circles of rock. They certainly aren’t a group that rely on their past, though. They’re always seeking to introduce new and exciting producers into their world in order to create an innovative work of art. Their new album is scheduled for release via P-Dog Records on 26 January. The album’s personnel consists of Helena Cos on vocals, Johnny Nap on guitars, Dale Whitaker on drums and Jimmy Mui on bass.

The album opens with the clean-cut incision of ‘Rip Your Heart Out’ which is a danceable blues-rock inspired number with elements of 80s style percussion. The track immediately slots itself into the realms of one’s memory because of how catchy it is and how nicely the verses segue into the chorus. Following what would be a stellar introduction to any record is the equally angst-ridden ‘Love it When You’re Wrong‘, although the chorus is perhaps more bombastic with echoing background chanting and dulcet vocal harmonies. Electro-styled flourishes permeate the production values of the song and it’s clear that this track is intended to be a much more polished version of the one prior to it. ‘Adore‘ is a slightly more pop-oriented number with clean acoustic verses. The hard-hitting drums and distorted guitars that were a pivotal figure in the previous two numbers only tend to appear during the track’s climactic chorus. A traditional breakdown with Hollywood-esque strings is showcased before the track plunges into what would be considered the first guitar solo of the record. ‘Drama Gore‘ is the album’s shortest track and it’s a track that really emphasises how the group are keen to adapt themselves into a much more accessible and modernised mould while still retaining their sense of rebellion and free spirit. ‘Hey Hey‘ is a track that echoes the group’s sensitivity for 80s-style percussion albeit with interpolations of hand-claps and sophisticated fills. From a pop standpoint, the group are more than educated as to how to construct an instantly gratifying piece of music. The track features yet another attention-worthy breakdown section before bursting into the second real guitar solo of the album. ‘Burn’ opens with Hendrix-style chordal voicings and a chorus which fulfils itself with excellent vocal effects. Definitely a strong track. ‘At Odds’ is a continuation of the argumentative lyrical themes that permeate the record. It could be postulated that the lyrics here may be an indirect attack on somebody who has caused the group some degree of stress or frustration. ‘Heartbreaker’ is a gritty number full of crunchy synth-bass flourishes. Whether the synth-bass is something they purposefully added to accentuate how “angry” they want this track to sound, it certainly does itself justice. ‘Come to Me’ isn’t one of the most catchy or memorable songs here but it still provides an excellent addition to what is most certainly an excellent contemporary rock album. The album closes with ‘Losing It’ and ‘Sick’.

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