Scotland Week: Pleased to Meet You Spotlight: The Amazing Snakeheads | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Scotland Week: Pleased to Meet You Spotlight: The Amazing Snakeheads

Chasing Their Own Tails

Sep 07, 2014 The Amazing Snakeheads Bookmark and Share

We have had a special theme on Under the Radar’s website over the last week which we’re simply calling Scotland Week. All throughout the week we have been posting interviews, reviews, lists, and blog posts relating to Scotland and in particular Scottish music. For this Pleased to Meet You Spotlight we focus on new Glasgow-based band The Amazing Snakeheads.

Band Name: The Amazing Snakeheads

Members: Dale Barclay, Andrew Pattie, Scott Duff (William Coombe and Jordon Hutchison were formerly members)

Where: Glasgow, Scotland

Foundation and Formation: Barclay and Coombe were childhood friends, while Hutchison was a longtime neighbor of Coombe’s, who rather serendipitously shared the pair’s proclivity for idiosyncratic yet imminently accessible rock music. (Although Coombe and Hutchison have recently left the band and have been replaced by Andrew Pattie and Scott Duff.)

They played notoriously riotous gigs in Glasgow leading up to demos that caught the ear of Domino head Laurence Bell, who promptly released their debut 7”. They’re in thrall to the fecund Detroit music scene of the ‘70s spearheaded by The MC5 and Stooges, and the town’s working class ethos/roughshod arts dichotomy, which parallels Glasgow’s, according to Barclay.

Songcraft trumps sonic histrionics for the act, whose numbers, even those such as the scorched earth skronk anthem “Flatlining,” are largely crafted initially on acoustic guitar by Barclay. “It’s just about writing a great song on a guitar,” the frontman says pragmatically. He’s also stunned that they’ve made it this far, revealing to Under the Radar that “a great 7” alone would’ve constituted a great success,” for the frontman.

For a man who started out in masonry, a workman-like attention to detail is all over Amphetamine Ballads. Be it balls to the walls, unfettered aggression such as the eardrum shattering “Testifying Time,” or the pensive, yet no less captivating “Heading for the Heartbreak,” which intimates the disintegration of a relationship, each stylistic shift serves the song. Barclay understands that the dynamics of a track aren’t mere exploitive toys-they’re methods by which ineffable emotions are conveyed. And he does this with the intuition of a wizened yet vulnerable master of songcraft throughout the band’s debut.

Reference Points: The Gun Club, Flat Duo Jets, Jack White, Grinderman. They’re also slightly evocative of the criminally underrated mid ‘00s Glaswegian duo Sluts of Trust, who were briefly signed to Chemikal Underground.

Sound and Vision:

Releases: Testifying Time 7” (Domino), Amphetamine Ballads LP (Domino)


[Download the next digital issue of Under the Radar to read more from our interview with The Amazing Snakeheads.]


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