Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Web - I Spider CD (album) cover


The Web


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.09 | 90 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars I Spider (1970) is the third and final album by the Web before morphing into Samurai. Although I know this was the first album of theirs that I had heard, it's one of those funny things in which I don't recall how I became even basically acquainted with them, or even remotely when exactly. A nice, mysterious block of whitespace in the ol' history books, eh? I certainly would consider it an if-you-know-it-you-know-it's-a-classic sort of album; no purpose in gatekeeping this for the masses; it's just Prog Obscura, Prog for Prog fans(?). Anyhow... Most notable to me now, a recent realization in fact, is that this is the entry point of keyboard-vocalist Dave Lawson (best known from Greenslade). Being the shift to [traditional] keys, as well as the key vocalist (replacing John Watson), Lawson also "assumed the leadership" of Samurai post-name-change.

Our album begins with the 10-minute mini-epic, wonderfully entitled "Concerto for Bedsprings". There is a dark, even unsettling eeriness to me that feels perhaps like VdGG. This is substantiated further by the swirling, uneven rhythm and crying saxophone starting around minute 2. And a second major shift occurs before minute 3; absolutely wondrous. This feels so out of time, yet I find I could often enough say the same thing about their contemporaries in Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago; all that to say, compliments all 'round: beautiful and dreamy Jazz. Dave Lawson, it should be noted, next to his absolutely lovely keyboard performance, has a voice that will likely polarize, but is very of the time; gruff and dramatic [Not dissimilar to vocal performances found in early, early Heavy Metal music]. Not quite to that effect, but musically they do have roots the same as Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster. This track is strong. Great opener; perhaps 'Essential'.

Up next on our 5-song album is the title track, "I Spider", moody and dramatic in its soft-spoken, yet simultaneously booming arrangements, with quieted horns, sizeable rhythm section and Dave's phenomenal vibrato. It has a dirge-like quality. In the middle section, over blasted tom-toms, the guitar slices roughly through the air, pitted against the dynamic breaths of sax. Melancholy continues on "Love You". Much less of an immediate statement as the two that came before, "Love You" halts then picks back up with haste. Now I must know how Lawson and Co. felt about Hammill and the rest of Van der Graaf, and vice versa... It's not uncanny, or anything, but the similarities are impossible for me not to make. Second thoughts showed how similar this is to my ears to the well-known Greenslade track-turned-theme-song "Gangsters" 5 years later (though it's actually an essential in my opinion).

Then we have the very cool "Ymphasomniac". Awesome stuff going on rhythmically, as it slips and slides around in a sort of circle. Also, consider the tones used for keyboard. This track allows percussion to really shine, with a break around minute 2. Even when the mood brightens, the band is just so cool and collected. Sick, groovy jam. We even get a bright, airy vibes solo! Up next, "Always I Wait" had me just stop what I was doing and softly proclaim, 'Damn.' This is just unbelievably cool for 1970. A mindblower, if you ask me. What Dave is doing on the organ especially is just melting me; thankfully I'm sober enough to stay upright (I mean, I have to finish this review haha). Everyone is keeping the f*ck up! This band was phenomenal at their best, truly phenomenal. Once again, Tony Edwards on guitar trades off, but this time with vibraphonist Lennie Wright, apparently one of two drummers (I don't know how I had missed that detail until now). Anyhow, this is the best track on the album (my partner hates Dave Lawson's voice haha; I'm a definite fan of all of it). [Perhaps, though, your hipster girlfriend can agree with the rest as well.]

A not-so-excited round-down from an exact True Rate of 4.5/5.0.

[I definitely wanted to say how excited I was with this, my 238th review; I am officially in the "100 MOST PROLIFIC REVIEWERS". Just stoked on it.] [Oops...]

DangHeck | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this THE WEB review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.