Some old punk once said: “anger is an energy.” And it is, isn’t it. You can do anything with a wee bit of anger: Start a war, stop a war, paint a painting – the world’s your oyster.

And yet, The Amazing Snakeheads have strolled along from the heart of Glasgow to prove us all wrong. Their debut album, ‘Amphetamine Ballads’, is a bizarre bag of lethargic rage.

For a little while Dale Barclay’s Strepsil-craving vocals trick you into believing they’re the real deal. ‘I’m a Vampire’ and ‘Swamp Song’ are both big balls of Begbie, all angry and exciting and whatnot. In fact, it’s not until the bassline on ‘Flatlining’ refuses to thrust that it becomes apparent. The group just don’t have that psycho sex appeal. The Amazing Snakeheads are Nick Cave’s celibate brother.

After this realisation the anger just doesn’t cut it. Every song is revealed to be nothing more than a standard blues ditty. It’s stuff that wouldn’t sound out of place on an ‘edgy’ John Mayer album, which is a frightening thought in itself.

I mean, I get what The Amazing Snake Heads have done – stripped baroom, bare-knuckle punk back to its bloody skeleton, purposefully avoided any sound that is remotely considered fashionable right now, got primal. But it’s not enough, not on it’s own.

So maybe that old punk was wrong, anger isn’t always an energy. But my God, it’s a hell of a lot more fun when it is.


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