The Amazing Snakeheads are a proper rough ‘n ready rock ‘n roll band. Unlike any number of fellow Glasgow contemporaries, there’s no pose, no preen, no pretence. Just a short, sharp shock of sweaty, sweary in-yer-face claustrophobic riffs. They’ve just released The Best Single Of 2013 (fact) on Domino Records. It’s called Testifying Time and you can buy it here.
You might have heard it already on 6 Music. They’ve been playing it a lot recently. On Lamacq’s Round Table a couple of weeks ago, the panel waxed lyrical about both record and band so much so that it was played twice before the end of the show. Mind you, the whole record is done and dusted in 1 minute 5 seconds. They could probably have squeezed another play in before the news headlines if they’d really tried. By the time the news headlines had been read out, I’d bought my copy online.
And here’s a thing…
The b-side is even better.
Carrying more implied menace than a dog-eared copy of No Mean City, it would be the ideal soundtrack to kicking off a Mad Dog-induced square go, big style. Y’know those Pixies tracks where a demented Frank Black barks ‘n yelps his way through all sorts of nonsense in pidgin schoolboy Spanish, just him and Kim on bass, playing in front of a garage band drum beat and the odd reverbed clatter? Vamos. That’s the track I’m thinking of.
That’s what The Truth Serum is like. It’s wild-eyed and wired. It’s the sound of throwing an out of control mental wee bam into a wardrobe before sticking a broom, cartoon-style, between the handles as a temporary lock. Thump! Thump! Thump! Let! Me! Out! Ya! Bass! It’s like a sweary Nyah Fearties covering Pixies, and it sounds every bit as good as that suggests. A broad Scots’ tongue lashing of the highest order. Feral, ferocious and effin’ fantastic.
You know that the guitars are going to come crashing in like a pair of size 10 DMs anytime soon, and it’s all going to kick off, but you’re not sure exactly when. The trick they’ve perfected here is the art of making sure the tension builds and builds until it can’t be contained any more and. Must. Be. Released. Here’s that Pixies track:
“Estaba pensando sobreviviendo con mi sister en New Jersey!” goes Frank, all menace and snarl. “We’ll go to California!!!” he screams. Screeeeeeeeeeeee!
“Geordie? Geordie?! Geordie?!? GEORDIE!!! TELL THUM!” Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! go The Amazing Snakeheads. Terrific stuff.