Thursday, July 5, 2012

Solar Snake-s/t EP (2012)

 * Bands/musicians: if I take a long time to respond to you or post yr stuff, it's not indifference but the fact that I have to act like an adult in between bouts of imitating Lester Bangs.*

Solar Snake is from Murmansk, Russia, a lovely port fronting on the White Sea. This drug punk in chief ain't no dummy, and knows where Murmansk is! It was a major shipment point for military hardware goin' to Crazy Uncle Joe during The Big One (World War II), and was also where Elizabeth I of England's emissaries landed when initiating diplomatic contacts with Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century.

Historical geography lessons aside, Solar Snake gushes through some sloppy, noisy, distortion-overloaded blues-meets-shitgaze on what I assume is their debut EP. This falls somewhere between the tuneful end of drone and the harsh, anti-social end of lofi indie: there's a thick, muddy layer of guitar fuzz slathered over everything like peanut butter covering mouldy bread. Deep beneath the guitar squall, the singer intones in what could be Russian or English (honestly the vocals are mixed too low for me to tell) while the rhythm sections plods through their sections. "Rumble" brilliantly plagiarizes the riff of "Yr Gonna Miss Me" by 13th Floor Elevators, but slows it down and strips it to a savage, naked howl. Definitely the best track here. Instead of shredding, like the Roky original, it slithers along, draggin' you in its oil-slicked wake. Nod out to this after guzzling a bottle of robitussin and downing some acid.

I just got home, wasted and alone, and Solar Snake is shaping up to be a good accompaniment to a July evening where the sun doesn't go down til 9 pm: the noisy guitar licks are my companion in isolation, and there's a chilly, frigid feel to the whole thing that has something to do either with the guitar-domination nature of the recording, or the fact that this band is recording in the most populated city north of the Arctic Circle. Either way, keep on keepin' on, Solar Snakes!

Listen to the Snakes here. ROCK ON, RUSSIA!

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