Silver Snakes are a hard band to push into a genre, and even less so on this release. At first glance, I believed this to be a mid-tempo pop rock effort with the occasional screams over breakdowns added to taste, an inoffensive offering for people who like their heavy music lite. But upon further listening, I can see a different idea underneath this L.A. brand of glossy veneer. Silver Snakes sound like they’re trying to guess at what pop rock will sound like in the future. And oddly, I find myself compelled to say it works.
I find their single “Glass” too obvious an attempt at radio play; instead, I’m attracted to the rest of the album. The band has a vocal approach similar to Cave In, including moments of heavier vocals. Their guitar approach sometimes summons up memories of Harkonnen, at other times sounds like post-grunge generica, while at other times move into electrically modified shoegaze interludes and refrains, and still other times sound like These Arms Are Snakes.
It makes for a bizarre listen. There are so many parts in this album that sound like a band simply trying to be commercially viable. And at other times it sounds like a band expertly flexing its prowess and good taste.
What shines through are its good ideas. When they want to sound like Chelsea Wolfe, they do it with ease. When they want to have choruses ripped from a pop song, they do so with aplomb. When they want to be heavy, they leave a scorched earth. For an example of all three, look no further than “Dresden”, an appropriate name for a song that starts out like an industrial love song and ends with a crushing firebomb in your ears.
Overall, when it works, it works, and if you can stomach the filler, you’ll love the killer!
05. Fire Cloud
06. Red Wolf
08. La Dominadora
10. The Loss
Run Time: 51:53
Release Date: February 15, 2016
Check out the song “Red Wolf” here.