Slithering serpent licks are tempting
There's nothing you haven't heard before on The Charming Snakes' full-length debut, but there's plenty you'll want to hear again and again. The quartet's first strike is indeed a charmer, spitting out gritty guitar licks and seething vocals. Sing...
There's nothing you haven't heard before on The Charming Snakes' full-length debut, but there's plenty you'll want to hear again and again.
The quartet's first strike is indeed a charmer, spitting out gritty guitar licks and seething vocals.
Singer/guitarist Ruben Mendez and company roll through 10 tracks in almost 40 minutes of super fuzz garage rock, reflecting the best of the group's Seattle scene.
The group plays Ralph's Corner Wednesday night.
While never straying too much from a tried-and-true formula, the Snakes cover a lot of ground, winding through different inspirations.
"Tracks That Lead" is a fuzzy industrial romp and stomp with a wonderfully giddy chorus, while the aptly titled "Epic Jams" wails with a saxophone like the Rolling Stones winding out "Monkey Man" at a drum circle. It's the stuff the Secret Machines could tap into if they ever wanted a hit.
As if the Snakes were looking to land a track on "The OC," drummer Kellie Payne slows the tempo slightly with some snappy beats to the infectious "Teenage Kut Out," complete with handclaps.
On repeated listenings, the one reference that keeps popping up is Detroit's Von Bondies. "Love Life" echoes last year's Bondies' hit, "C'mon, C'mon," and both groups excel at dishing out trashy rock. Although the Charming Snakes aren't as fashion conscious as Jason Stollsteimer's outfit, both four-pieces boast an equal male/female breakdown.
There are no female members of Cobra Verde, but the Cleveland, Ohio, quintet certainly has the ladies in mind with "Copycat Killers."
Perhaps backing up Bob Pollard on the final Guided by Voices tour took a lot of energy out of the lads, so much so that they chose to release the ubiquitous covers album as a follow-up to 2003's "Easy Listening."
Whatever the reason, Cobra Verde delivers more than straight-laced versions of other artists' hits.
"Get the Party Started," does just that as the opening track. Rather than a full-tilt, rocking cover of Pink's dance signature, Cobra Verde slows it down for a sexy, smoky take. The band keeps listeners in the dark with a minimalist reading of The Rolling Stones' "Play With Fire."
The band holds the dance floor on this album, keeping the beat alive on a discolicious cover of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." It's so seductive you'll want to double check to make sure it's not an INXS outtake.
These snakes aren't always charmers. Usually a Leonard Cohen track is the key to a lady's heart, but singer/guitarist John Petkovic's take on "So Long Marianne" is a clumsy reel.
Snakes are mythically seen as tempters, and with these two discs, listeners are encouraged to dance with the serpents.
Readers can reach Forum reporter
John Lamb at (701) 241-5533
If you go
What: The Charming Snakes, Egypt and Stab, Stab, Kill, Kill
When: 10 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Ralph's Corner, Moorhead
Information: There is a $5 cover for this 21 and older show. (218) 233-3351.