Kind of Like Spitting One Hundred Dollar Room

As Kind of Like Spitting, Ben Barnett has been hugely influential since he appeared on the scene back in 2000. Despite many other bands mentioning him as shaping their sound, some of his best records have been hard to find, including the recently reissued One Hundred Dollar Room — regarded by many fans as the best recording that Barnett made during his most prolific period (four albums in one year). Initially, it is hard to hear what all the fuss is about because it sounds so very derivative of other contemporaries. Like an unfinished demo tape, it seems tantalisingly close to greatness. So close in fact that it all begins to make sense eventually. Like early Guided By Voices or Lou Barlow at his most inspired, there seems to be real thought behind every decision on One Hundred Dollar Room. Slowly, the genius of Kind of Like Spitting emerges and in other hands, this could all end up being clichéd, but Barnett just seems to know how to arrange songs in a satisfying way. He packs a lot into short periods of time, both lyrically and musically, and doesn’t really put a wrong foot here. Even a cover of Billy Bragg’s "Little Time Bomb” stripped bare to a quivering voice and guitar works. It seems only fitting that one of his finest moments is made available again, as Barnett is apparently returning to his old prolific ways. Even if he never reaches these heights again, One Hundred Dollar Room will always be his classic album. (Anti/Epitaph)