Sunday, January 21, 2007

This Snak Is Phat-ning

Snak is a band featuring a fellow co-worker of mine, Dave Beeson. I started working with Dave about 5 odd years ago and at first I just called him the long haired rocker guy. When I got to know him better it turned out he was actually a long haired rocker guy. Dave is the bass player and part vocalist ala Kiss's Gene Simmons, with Paul Stanley to Snak's main vocalist Tynur. Snak perform straight up rock with touches of the Cars and Headstones, and perhaps just a little Depeche Mode. Today I'm going to look at the three stages of Snak's career (as I see it). Their debut album, some demos and their full length sophomore effort.

Snak's first album (as far as I know, but don't quote me) "Sayin' You're Done" is actually better than I remembered it. That sounds terrible, but as hard as it is for me to say this, Snak's major weakness is poor production. However, "Sayin' You're Done" is probably their best effort. My main critique is probably that the guitars sounds thin and computery. "Good Morning ... Say Hello", "Deep In My Shoe" and "My Magnamify" are all Cars ish and fun guitar wailing tunes with "My Magnamify" having a darker, gothy feel. "My Way" has a Headstones sound with its poetic vocals. "What Am I" is a Beeson sung song and it is Rock. His gruff vocals bring a different sound to the band. "Crazy" is the most original sounding song here and Tynur's vocals veer into a more unique sound. It's a Cure-ish influenced song with an atmospheric touch. "After Thought" is an instrumental very much in line with America's "Horse With No Name". The songs on "Sayin' You're Done" are catchy and fun, but the band sounds like they are still trying to find themselves.

After that album, Snak changed drummers. Brandon left and after a short stint with a guy named Agustine, Jason was brought in. Dave gave me a few demo CD's of stuff he'd been working on with the band and now I'll talk about those.

Here is where we get a lot of the bad production stuff. "Lunatic's Halo", "Claire" and "Rascal's Odyssey" are unfortunately bad productions. I have been told that these were done during their salad bowl sessions ... literally. "Lunatic ..." vocals are a little over the top and sounds like Tynur is struggling to find his voice. "Rascal..." has some nice spacey guitar work, but you forget it after you hear it. "Claire" is not a bad song, catchy, but the bad production quality makes it hard to appreciate it; as is with "Beautiful Superstar". "Magnificent Twist" is a great song. Fun and you can really get down to it. The quality is terrible, but this song really shines live. "Mall Slots" and "Happy Now" are Beeson sung songs and are truly the first real hooky and sing a long songs I enjoyed. "Mall Slots" suffers from poor production, but it has some great solos and a funky bridge section and for some reason always reminds me of Kiss's "Prisoner of Love" ... I don't know why, I think it's Dave's vocals. "Happy Now" is my favourite Snak song. It's a Dave sung song with Tynur adding backing vocal flourishes and gives the band what I think is a real original Snak sound. The guitar work is great and it's really catchy. The highlight of these demos is their rocky/blues cover of Monty Python's "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life". Tynur comes into his own vocally here and little Alex's guitar work is fantastic. A real pleasure of a tune. The demos suffered a lot with bad production, but the song work really improved.

Now finally I'll take you through Snak's full length sophomore release "6 Months Of Sundays". This album includes some of the demos and a number of new tracks. "Mall Slots" and "Rascal's Odyssey" receive better production treatment, but I'm still not a big fan of "Rascal..." but that's probably just me. "Happy Now" for some reason doesn't sound as good as the demo, but it's my favourite of theirs so I'll let it be. "Magnificent Twist" gets the better production treatment too and a well deserved one, because this is a very fun song.

Of the new tracks, the album opener "No One Recalls" is some of Tynur's best vocals with a nice mix of both Ric Okasek and Hugh Dillon. You can hear the influence, but his voice is distinct and original. "Rockstar" is another Snak original sounding tune. "Wiggle" and "In Wake" get noisy and sound over produced, but aren't bad songs. Dave Beeson grabs the mic on the rockers "Another 2 am Phone Call", "Wiggle" and "Victoria" though the production sounds a little muffled. Now I think I am just being picky.

Alex, the Wee One (lead guitarist) is good. Over the years I've watched him come out of his shell and now he just wails and has a lot of fun on stage. He's good and he should show that off. He is called the Wee One cause Snak has added a third guitarist to the band who also goes by Alex or Sea Bass and was their roady before hand. After this album they split with drummer Jason and have found a new one in Ian. This is why I picked Dave to help me on another blog I contribute to (he's One Useless Rockstar). The drum work in Snak songs is impressive and I must commend all the drummers for their strong performances.

I've seen Snak several times over the years and very much enjoy their stage antics and performances. In case you're wondering ... yes those are my underwear on the end of Dave's bass guitar. If it can happen to Tom Jones, why not Snak. You're welcome Dave. I have no idea what happened to them and that's probably best. In the end, I think I've come across a little harsher than I needed to be, but Snak do have some catchy songs and some fine performances. Please head to their website/myspace and check them out for yourselves.

And don't let the monkey mascot turn you off.

Up next is another fellow co-worker, who I had heard about for years and finally went and saw... you'll be pleasantly surprised. I was ...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

On your advice I went to go see the band S.N.A.K. at their most recent gig. As a Medieval Times alumnus, I am frequently asked for my opinion on various live acts by unsigned bands and I looked forward to a rocking evening. It turned out to be an entirely un-rocking ten seconds before I realized that the bassist has gone establishment and cut his once rocking hair. He looks like my dad now. I wanted to see Metallica - not Felicity. Thank you straight to hell. You’re a damned fool.

11:40 AM  

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