by Kris Handel (@khandel84)
The Snakes are a 5 piece from Melbourne, Australia that get to the point and do so quickly with each of their tunes of pure attitude. Australia has long had a burgeoning punk/garage scene that has never truly fallen in line with the traditions or obsessed with what has come before. Bands like UV Race, Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring (to a degree) and countless others have been pushing music forward at every turn as well as tossing a nod to what has come before with bands like The Saints, Radio Birdman and influences from places like the art-punk scenes of NYC and Cleveland. The Snakes imbue their brand of garage punk with some well-placed post-punk cynicism and squall when appropriate that just amps up the power.
“Solid Income” announces itself with ringing and pumping keyboards and sardonically spat vocals that are answered in kind over assertively ramshackle drumming. “Snakes B-day” comparatively grooves along with sharply distorted guitar leads that occasionally falls in line with the humming keyboards. The vocals are the perfect amount of nonchalance and yelping sneering that work hand in glove with the loping and jaunty post-punk chaos. “Pop Song” adds a bit of brittle Ramones-meets Wire-meets late 70’s early 80’s New Zealand scene to the party, in a lively and light-hearted entertainment that is actually very welcomed.
This record goes by in a flash, uses every moment perfectly, and is constantly pushing forward and runs the gamut stylistically and emotionally. There’s a strong hint of aggressive cynicism undercutting everything, but The Snakes never shy away from fun as well with a couple of ‘instrumental’ interludes and enough tongue buried in cheek to ever bog itself down in gloom. This record is lively and rollicking in every track and for a band that has played few shows there’s a strong connection and chaos driven foundation in place. This is a an extremely pleasing surprise of a little package that really should be given your full attention and one of the brightest and energetic ‘garage punk’ records you will probably find this year.