Eagerly awaited and as rascally salacious and creatively lecherous as hoped, SnakeOil for Snakes shows exactly why for a great many, Dick Venom & the Terrortones is THE essential British rock ‘n’ roll band. The band’s debut album is a web of flirtation and riot of rhythmic agitation bound up in vats of garage punk contagion posing as songs. It is manna for the insane and inspiration for the lascivious, but most of all, the album is punk ‘n’ roll to get a nation and continent romping.
Formed in 2010 by the inimitable Dick Venom, the Nottingham hailing band has left a fevered trail and reputation behind their live presence, an acclaim infected assault matched in plaudits by their increasingly impressive releases. Aside their own sweaty live stomps, the band has shared stages with the likes of The Meteors, The Rezillos, Bad For Lazarus, Demented Are Go, Lawnmower Deth, The Radiacs, Vince Ray & The Boneshakers, and Savage Messiah amongst a great many whilst first EP RockinRollin VampireMan set the trend for luring strong reactions and praise. Invasion Of The Spider Queen in 2013 only increased awareness and the band’s fan base, with last year’s EP The MonsterPussy Sessions nudging broader spotlights to match the band’s new step forward in sound. Yet another plateau of trash punk invention and pleasure has been breached by SnakeOil for Snakes, its crowd of dirty rock ‘n’ roll bred tracks the kind of thing addiction was invented for.
With Wrex St.Clair, Dusty Vegas, and Stevie Vee alongside, Dick Venom is soon infesting ears with his distinctive and zealous tones, leaping forward from the choppy riff toothed entrance of Gun of a Tongue. The opener is soon into an eager stride, interrupting its jagged scenery with glam rock enterprise and sonic mischief. The Rezillos were mentioned earlier and there is an air of the Scottish band as the song bounds into the passions with its garage punk/rockabilly revelry.
I Can’t Find my BrainCell swiftly keeps attention and appetite engrossed and increasingly wanton for more straight after. As a thickly enticing bassline from St.Clair leads the virulence of the song, guitars spring tendrils of sonic temptation whilst beats roll along with a promiscuous tenacity. Venom as ever is a schizophrenic bundle of vocal imagination and rebelliousness, lauding over but only adding to the theatre of the track with his rousing energy, a success only repeated time and time again across SnakeOil for Snakes as shown quickly by TightPants (DoubleHeaded). Surf kissed strands of guitar spin their own irresistible weave as female vocals add a great snarl alongside Venom’s. The song despite its edge is more restrained than the previous pair of songs but just as fiercely catchy and impressive in its fifties rock hooks and tangy melodic imagination.
Three tracks in and it is fair to say that building from the potent inventive base of The MonsterPussy Sessions, the band has honed hooks to be more barbed and gripping with roars even more anthemic and rousing as ideas…well they are shaped by even greater ferocious imagination. Taken from that last EP, Dead Deadbeat Delinquent first time around was proof of a greater adventure being forged and even now, as an old well known friend, it holds the same rich enticement amongst just as devilishly imperious tracks. With bass and guitar bouncing around with slim yet inescapable addictive post/garage punk lures as the beats of Vegas rumble with the senses, the song is primal seduction; everything from toes to emotions quickly recruited and eagerly involved in its fresh psychosis of sound and maniacal enterprise.
Shimmering grooves from Vee welcome ears in next up FFFunny Kinda Luvin, the song’s winy nectar of temptation framed by more inciting rhythms and the measured vocal rowdiness of Venom. Bass and drums subsequently create a tribal enticing as sonic hues smoulder and grow into bedlamic invention around them, it all strung together by a prime hook which even in its absence within the proposal seems to weave rich magic on lustful emotions.
Dirty rock ‘n’ roll colours the walls of Last DumbDregs of Dragsvile after that, essences of The Stooges merging with something akin to The Spits feistily pleasing ears, whilst Go Fuck on the Sidewalk gets garage punk funky with its Cramps meets The Ghastly Ones tango. Both tracks thrill and lead to forceful hip swinging, especially the second of the pair before things get scuzzy with Do The Mash. Though not quite living up to its predecessors, certainly in swift convincing, the track soon boils with its fire of spicy guitar and robust rhythms courted by Venom at his most grouchy and gruff yet.
Taunting with an initial coaxing which surely is a distant relation to something the Knack might have conjured, No Good to get Up To thrills as it spills its intoxicating devilment next. Bluesy to the air, punk rock to the growl, the track prowls and stomps around with attitude and intimidation, igniting another wave of greed from the appetite along the way. It is success emulated by the gloriously lustful seduction of Planet of the HoneyFuzz. Imagine Sweet as Turbonegro and then bound in The Phenomenauts contagion and you have a hint of this unique Dick Venom & The Terrortones treat of an infestation.
MyWay or the DryWay saunters in next, rhythmic taps a lead into a gorgeous creeping of noir woven creative theatre, whereas Crypt Tonight is a throbbing of garage rock ‘n’ roll which throughout its surf embraced rhythmic meander and melodic shimmering, is like a tongue led insatiable kiss on the senses and passions.
A final trespass of deeply biting and lingering hooks amidst compelling vocal and sonic imagination brings the album to a riveting close, Get Fucked Up Good a brilliant libidinal enticing and entrapment of ears and equally lusty reactions and a sensational end to an album exciting in all departments. Hopes were high and demanding because of The MonsterPussy Sessions, but now left looking lightweight by SnakeOil for Snakes. Dick Venom & the Terrortones are ready to be spoken in the same breath of the garage punk greats yet it is still easy to feel we have still only tapped into the first layer or two of their devious majesty.
SnakeOil for Snakes is out now via Jailhouse Morgue digitally and on 12” vinyl @ http://terrortones.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 09/11/2015
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