Agony Shorthand

Tuesday, August 05, 2003
A FEAST OF SNAKES : “A FEAST OF SNAKES “ 12”EP….A couple of months ago I solicited your feedback on the new crop of garage punk bands & requested recommendations on same. At least one person fired back with an unequivocal endorsement of Dallas’ A FEAST OF SNAKES – not that you’d know it from my disappeared comments boxes. Then Agony Shorthand browser CS was kind enough to forward a recording of the band’s 2003 debut, vinyl-only, eight-song 12”EP, and I have now listened intensely and studied it in hopes of rendering a verdict. In three brief, remarkably well-chosen words: pretty fuckin’ hot. This is all-over-the-map squall with a deadly blues-fuzz feel, & maybe a wink and nod to biker punk a la DAVIE ALLEN & THE ARROWS. And pretty much every track stands up – not a insignificant feat in an era of soundalike fall-apart punk. James Arthur, who played guitar in FIREWORKS (who did his thing on two of the 90s’ finest garage-noise 45s in “Untrue/She’s a Tornado” and “Silver Moon/Moonshot") & Alex Cuervo from BLACKTOP and a host of others, anchor the panic here (I noticed in the Grunnen Rocks database that former bassist Angelique Congleton also did time in a band called the MEAT HELMETS. Outstanding name!!). Sure, you could quibble with the buried, ultra-distorted vocals, a 1993 vintage Crypt/In The Red move that is perhaps a wee bit played out, but how much more quibblesome would an awful vocalist be? See, we’ll never really know with this approach, so hats off to ‘em. This is a fantastic debut, and I want to hear more.