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If The Clash Jammed with The Doors: The Amazing Snakeheads

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The Amazing Snakeheads are a new group out of Glasgow with a fused punk-blues sound, quite literally as if The Clash and The Doors jammed.  Amphetamine Ballads, unmasked Glasgow accent and all, is an excellent first release.

The album opens with the clash of a gong and then slips into “I’m a Vampire” and then “Nighttime.”  It certainly is not a Goth album though.  The ten songs vary widely and there is no question that the subjects are mostly dark, verging interestingly on psychosis at times—as with  “Swamp Song”—and at others it is almost conventional as in their excellent “Here It Comes Again.”   

All the songs have attitude though and they all fall somewhere on the line graph between The Doors and The Clash—with two exceptions, that is.  Right in the middle of the album we have the roadhouse blues and punk fusion of “Flatlining” and “Where is My Knife” –perhaps the best examples of punk-blues fusion on the album and both brilliant tunes. So what songs are the exceptions?


Picture a lounge, let’s say a Glasgow lounge back when patrons could smoke indoors, red vinyl chairs, an older crowd, say veterans of WW II, and a singer in a cigarette jacket, eyes closed at the mic under the gel lights, singing “Every Guy Wants to be Her Baby.”  At around 4:08 of the tune he flings off his jacket and opens up with a punk version of the same theme.  It’s compelling.  “Tiger by the Tail” is of that ilk as well, though a lot like a Glaswegian Leonard Cohen.

Those are the extremes of The Amazing Snakeheads on their first full-length album,  2014’s Amphetamine Ballads. Now to find their first release, a 7” single with “Testifying Time” and “The Truth Serum.”



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