Regrettably these days, it has to be said that punk music is not everybody’s bag. Obviously we love it, but it’s mass popularity has been on the wane since the 1970s. Luckily that hasn’t stopped punk rockers Snuff who have been making a terrific racket (on and off) since 1986. This, their first proper release in a decade, is a non-stop riot of majestic energy, not bad for guys who have been in the industry for 25 years give or take.
Right from the get-go, and intro track ‘In The Stocks’, it becomes immediately apparent that this album is not going to let up AT ALL. This, along with its follow-up ‘From Underneath the Ice‘ are absolute party anthems; it’s a safe bet that this album will translate a lot better live, in a dingy little dive with people bouncing off the walls and shouting the vocals right back at the band.
‘There Goes the Walzinblack‘ (no, I have no idea either) is slightly more edgy, with the aforementioned exuberance being exchanged for something darker, the intervals sounding much more like your bread and butter punk standard. Still, I guess it’s to be expected from guys who pretty much grew up during the great era of punk. ‘Mumbo Jumbo‘ comes out of nowhere and smashes you in the head with its relentless anger. Sounding more akin to 80s hardcore, its aggression and fast paced guitars are a concoction of menace and grit.
It’s at about this point you realise how important this music actually is, not just to Snuff but alternative music as a whole. Without these guys and their peers, pressing their antagonistic, punchy sound for so many years, we probably wouldn’t have anything like the outstanding hardcore and metal scene we have today.
Thankfully though, I wasn’t allowed to get all “I wish I’d been alive in the 70s” for too long, as ‘Rat Run‘ came into view and pretty much punched me in the ear through my headphones. There’s only so much you lot can hear me wax lyrically about how forceful this music is, as well as it’s partner ‘EFL‘ really the capable songwriters Snuff are. The former even sneaks in some spectacular melodies, and the latter is a brilliant sing-a-long, slightly slower, almost ska influenced.
Thankfully though, the last two tracks, ‘I Blame The Parents‘ and ‘All Good Things‘ are an excellent return to form; fast, crunchy, punky and bouncy to the Nth degree. As a way to sum up, and also end, an album these two tracks are utterly unfailing.
If you haven’t bashed your head open jumping around your living room (the cat was not approving) then you will find, at the very end, acoustic versions of ‘In The Stocks‘ and ‘EFL‘. In all honesty I wasn’t entirely convinced that they translated into acoustic, although it has to be said that the mix of acoustic guitar and the vocals delivered with such feeling did bring a different kind of power to these songs that wasn’t there with the full electric versions.