This post originally appeared on the 10th Dentist blog on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020.
Have the UK melodic punk greats been ‘snuffed’ by their commercial American label-mates?
Snuff have constantly been underappreciated and overlooked for their commercial North American label mates, and this should be added to an ever growing list of crimes ‘punk’ fans have committed to themselves. In a label scene of punk rock aesthetics, Snuff stands out like a sore thumb. Seems ironic that punks would like conformity, right?? but alas, Snuff’s non-sarcastic humor, bald heads, and lack of fake Irish paraphernalia have most likely kept them from being as big as their Fat Wreck Chords label mates.
Where Burt Bacharach swaggered in, Snuff barged through with grit and boyish charm. The 30+ years running band delivers music that feels genuine, caring, and fun. Drummer/singer Duncan Redmonds’ unique approach to drumming comes through with his signature swung snare and kick hits, something I’ve only ever heard so frequently in the work of The Cardiacs and Madness. Simultaneously Loz Wong’s approach to guitar hasn’t changed much either, yet stays fresh. Wong roars and rips over rhythm and chord changes while staying open enough for Redmond’s dynamic drum work to come through without making any one track too busy.
This album aggressively rivals what is sometimes considered the band’s late ’90s glory days of Demmamussabebonk (1996) and Tweet Tweet My Lovely (1998), though I find the album’s trappings in the occasionally dry songwriting and vocally centered mixing. Unfortunately, ‘Lot About’ ends in a weak manner with the track ‘Job and Knock’, an acoustic, low-energy track. While not a bad song in it’s own, I would have loved to see the preceding track ‘Gyoza’ swapped in the listing. ‘Gyoza’ is this special type of grand melancholic songwriting that only Snuff and Duncan Redmond’s solo material have ever been able to pull off so well.
For fans of: Marginal Man, Madness, Hard Skin