The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads

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Looks Cool, Sounds Shit

The Amazing Snakeheads – it’s the band that everyone’s talking about. It’s raw, it’s now, it’s angry, it’s dark, it’s Ratfink meets sneering, greaser punks with a hazy noir aesthetic. It’s a switchblade knife and a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled into the t-shirt sleeve. It’s hiding your crack in your Beetlecrushers. It’s a grim Glasgow mugging by some 50’s teddy boys with no teeth. It’s wearing Wayfarers at the whiskey bar with a cocktail stick in your mouth. It’s 1950s, it’s cowboys, it’s being an outlaw when it was sexy, before it meant being someone who might be found sticking a needle of heroin into his toe in the back of a banjaxed 1997 Mazda 323 on a Tuesday morning.

On their debut album Amphetamine Ballads, Scottish trio The Amazing Snakeheads use lots of sloppy, jangling chords painted on clumping, shaking percussion to mow around the lengthy and oftentimes animalistic brays of singer Dale Barkley, sounding like a drunken tramp version of SPG the Hamster. Luckily I appreciate these difficult and repetitive musical ideas for their utterly brilliance, vitality etc because if I didn’t know any better I would have thought it was just a big raggedy scarecrow of unbearable clichés wearing a coat made completely out of stupid fucking bullshit. Contrived reverb-soaked rage monologues roared over terrible, lumpen Meg White drumming shat out with an over-reliance on reverb and other hackneyed greaser production tokens to smokescreen an undeniable lack of anything whatsoever.

I listened to this as a stream on Spotify, and the intermittent Kittensoft toilet tissue and cornflake-based Tesco adverts really came as a welcome break from the shallow, half-baked nonsense that pissed in my ears like a Scottish band with no ideas pissing in my ears. The sax is the only redeeming feature. And when that’s the case you know you’re fucked. The album would have scored a 0 except for the awesome gate-fold sleeve featuring 500 oily naked women which I’m pretending it comes with. Hey, a lot of you might like this, lord knows it’s picking up a fair whack of hype, but to me it’s music that looks cool but unfortunately sounds shit – and you can’t look at music, because it is sounds.

Amphetamine Ballads was released in April via Domino.


The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads iTunes Download