There’s something about Silver Snakes that really creeps up on you as ‘Saboteur’ kicks off. A fairly standard drum intro is almost enough to lure you into a false sense of security before chugging guitars and roaring vocals breathe life into a track that offers a great first impression all-round. ‘Electricity’ certainly serves as a solid album opener and with ‘Glass’ providing a more industrial taste to the LA quartet, Silver Snakes don’t come off in the early stages of ‘Saboteur’ as a band who’ll have a limited scope to their sound.
‘Raindance’ and ‘Devotion’ are a further demonstration that Silver Snakes know precisely how to build a track up; in similar fashion to ‘Electricity’ each song is paced to perfection; the first half of the album weighted superbly with the band finding a perfect balance between the chaos and the calm.
‘Red Wolf’, meanwhile, grows into a song that needs to be heard live. On record it’s a riot, but the power behind the instrumentals just demands to be moshed to. It’s never going to be a song best experienced through headphones or the speakers of your car. Throughout ‘Saboteur’, in fact, Silver Snakes have the makings of a superb live band, and it’s hard to imagine them selling themselves better than this.
The effect-laden vocals and guitar on ‘Charmer’ are perhaps not quite the success they prove to be elsewhere on the record however, and an albeit solid riff isn’t quite strong enough to carry the song on its own. The very Tool-esque ‘La Dominadora’ is a decent interlude to lead into the tail end of the record, where the simply epic finale of ‘Dresden’ and ‘The Loss’ ensure that noone will be leaving ‘Saboteur’ behind with many bad words to say at all. Two tracks approaching the ten minute mark is an ambitious way to close the record, but Silver Snakes certainly pull it off. Both are a joy to listen to as the album wraps up.
With all things considered, ‘Saboteur’ is perhaps the strongest advert for Silver Snakes we could have possibly hoped. It’s difficult to recommend single tracks because the album begs to be listened through from start to finish. With the quartet barely into their fifth year as a band, if there’s a glass ceiling for Silver Snakes we can’t see it yet.
‘Saboteur’ by Silver Snakes is out now on Pelagic Records (UK) /Evil Ink Records (US).
Words by Antony Lusmore (@VilinskiKonjic)