Words: James Frostick
Three years on from the release of her acclaimed SMACKWAVE EP, Spike Fuck returns to the limelight with a delicate off-cut from the SMACKWAVE sessions. ‘Body By Crystal’ is a sorrowful insight back to Spike’s times of addiction – an unflinching tale coloured in blueish hues, boasting love-bruised guitar peals and sighs tinged with palpable sadness.
Spike Fuck’s SMACKWAVE EP – despite being released in 2016 – still resonates. The creative-and-cathartic exorcism came at the end of a lengthy period of addiction, confusion and heartache, and the way Spike Fuck channelled this tortured history into four songs of timeless country-tinged post-punk is still mind-bogglingly impressive. Although it is tough on the emotions, time hasn’t dulled its beauty. It’s hard to (selfishly) fathom that those experiences only yielded enough material for four tracks but – as has come to be revealed this week – there was more in the bank that Spike was saving. ‘Body By Crystal’ is a newly released track penned during the SMACKWAVE period that is only seeing the light of day now. Since the EP, Spike has experienced her fair share of highs and lows – she’s travelled, written a song, relapsed, rehabilitated and continued to transition, which has naturally means that life has remained largely unstable. That being said, my superficial insight into her life and bits of positive news blipping on my feed points towards some stability. Now, it seems, enough time seems to have passed for this track to get another look in (and thank the abyss that it has!).
Spike’s recent interview with Zac Bayly for The Face gives you enough background to come to grips with the song’s intent, but for those of you that keep their clicks close to the chest, ‘Body By Crystal’ is a track about love – or rather, the loss of it and how losing it can cause things to fray. Addiction strikes me as an experience akin to navigating choppy, rock-filled waters. One can be so fixated on steering a safe course that they don’t see what’s toppling overboard behind them, but focusing on too many things at once will just distract you and leave you shipwrecked. ‘Body By Crystal’ is a summary of what gets lost in the spray. Not everyone wants to run the risk of crashing with you – sometimes its better to bail out and make for shore. Throughout the track Spike makes mention of her mood swings, penchant for methamphetamines and encroaching grey skies, and when the uncoupling occurs the urge to let go of the wheel rises.
“And after a while the matter was us, and I thought we could have made it with just a little luck / and when you said we were done I knew you meant no offence / so I lost myself in heroin and lost all my good, good, good self-confidence”
Although a remarkable addition to SMACKWAVE’s legacy, I hope ‘Body By Crystal’ marks an ending of this chapter of Spike’s life. The EP will stand as a timeless testament the power of addiction, the dismantling and rebuilding of the self, and the all-encompassing embrace of love. Nothing will shake that. However, there’s word of a new LP in the works – as good as the EP is, I want to see what life has given Spike Fuck since its release, and crave to hear what she has got for us next.