The Snips – [EP]

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Something had to change. When The Snips' original singer Mike Podio left the band last year (the details on why are public domain, but irrelevant) and trumpet player Ricky “Slick Dick” Pridmore stepped up to front the band, fans were surprised – but they also knew that the Ceremonial Snips' brand of anthemic “hardcore with horns” rock was not long for this Earth. Podio was blessed with a fantastic and fantastically mean snarl in his throat that Ricky just didn't possess – so if any of the songs that the band recorded previously on the Check Your Audio LP or the Fuck The Pain, Bring The Noise EP were going to survive, they'd have to be augmented for performance and any new music would sound different too.

So how was it going to go? As the Blackouts EP illustrates, ceasing to stand on ceremony (the band dropped the 'Ceremonial' prefix from its name and now simply goes by The Snips) has really lightened the band up and the five songs on the EP are the most popularly accessible (as in, alt-rock radio-ready) stuff they've ever written.

The change from unclassifiable aggro-rock band to more melodic hardcore outfit (think along the lines of NoFX and you're on the right track) is complete and seamless from the opening splash of “Tired Tires” and the band never really breaks stride thereafter; even as the title track fades the record out. In songs like “White Ghost” and the more-aggressive-than-you'd-expect “Finkle Is Einhorn,” The Snips play hard but never skimp on the melodies as Pridmore pushes his voice just hard enough to produce some gravel in it which makes lyrics like “Is this the end?/Did the ground just leave my feet?” (from “Tired Tires”) and “Have you lost all meaning in the irony?” (from “Black Leather Vest”) sound like something a band used to playing arenas would get the audience to sing for dramatic effect. It sounds big, and the funny thing is that it almost sounds effortless; those familiar with The Snips' earlier work know the band once had a distinctly harder – even metallic – edge but, here, the band has lightened up without sounding like they're trying to sell out.

All that said, and there's no doubt that the Blackouts EP is a success. It does precisely what most bands hope an EP will do: renew interest and curiosity among audiences for what might be coming in the future. In this case, Blackouts marks a significant artistic turn for The Snips and it will leave the hearts it wins waiting excitedly for another full-length.



The Blackouts
EP is out now but not currently available on Amazon. Buy it here , direct from the band.

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