“Who’s Knockin?” is an intimate, stripped-down song that highlights Inactive Spaz’s instantly recognizable voice, incisive songwriting, and rustic acoustic guitar work. Inactive Spaz is a one man project that weaves its way through blues, rock and folk soundscapes. No matter which style or instrumentation is used, Inactive Spaz has one common denominator – a deep gravelly and world-weary voice that carries each song to it’s visceral and emotional conclusion.
Everything that was good about the early singer-songwriter era is here: great vocals, poignant lyrics, and odd melodies that grow on you because they are attractive without being too commercial. The overall aura of the voice and music has a kind a Van Morrison and Tom Waits quality to it, only a whole lot rawer.
“Who’s Knockin?” is a musically pared down affair. The arrangement is sparse. It has acoustic guitar strumming and a voice dominating the texture. There are no drums; there are no hard rocking frills, but the track does not suffer in their absence.
Instead, we hear Inactive Spaz’s indomitable, whiskey-stained voice growling and twirling with unbridled energy. The record is atmospheric and spontaneous sounding, while the production feels live and not ornate as modern recorded music can be.
Inactive Spaz sounds like his delivering a stream of consciousness straight from his mindset with no pre-written script to hold his thoughts back. And as with all great music there is a certain amount of angst present in the vocals and lyricism.
He writes for his own voice, an instrument with a unique wryness and a resonating range, which means his melodies are immediate, to the core, as if he’s making them up on the spot. More crucially, his songs are crammed with stray details and wonderfully skewed insights.
“Who’s Knockin?” is as sparse lyrically as it is musically, following the ‘no-fat-only-lean-meat’ theory. The result is that the mood and atmosphere of the song is mainly implied by the affecting vocals and then supported by the strumming acoustic guitar.
Inactive Spaz sets a high standard for himself in the writing and performing of his songs, while he leaves the recordings to be rudimentary and raw, as if you were attending a live show. It is a musical experience that is compelling, moving, and nutritious, almost primordial and a much needed anomaly in these times of gloss and hype.