With their name and Crue-ripoff cover, you might get the feeling you’re in for a good time. And you’d be right. “You saying that the snakes ain’t awesome? Or sayin’ that the snakes ain’t great? You better SHUT UP!”
Awesome Snakes are filling the time for the Soviettes’ members Annie and Danny while their main gig is on a little hiatus. What we have here has sonic similarities to their other band -- fast, short, powerful pop-punk ditties -- with even simpler instrumentation. Danny is still drumming while Annie has switched up to bass, playing it all guitar-like and fuzzed-out which draws comparisons instantly to Death from Above; the Snakes bring a similar onslaught and you won’t miss the guitar at all. The other difference here would be it’s dumber (they would agree) and goofier, with nearly every song being about snakes and how awesome they are, and loads of funny audio clips thrown in. It sounds as if the duo just came into the studio for one day and tore shit up. It’s very casual sounding, and a hell of a good time.
I really wish the booklet had lyrics, so I could accurately relay more of the hilarity on to you, but I'll do my best. After an instrumental opener, “I Want a Snake” lets you know what you’re in for. Danny rambles on about what kind of snake he wants (“Can I get a black one? Can I get a red one? Can I get a brown one?,” “I’m gonna get a snake and it’s gonna be awesome”) then Annie spells it out for ya (“A-W-E-S-O-M-E, Awesome!”). The previously quoted “Shut Up!” rallies against snake-haters in a polite fashion, and one of the few non-snake tracks “Awesome Snacks” featuring voice-guitar in the bridge. One of my favorite attributes of this record is Danny’s increased lead vocal time. His improvised rants are hilarious, like when he talks about passing out at the Little Caesars (“y’know, the one that has the Kmart inside of it”) on “You Don’t Like Snakes, I Don’t Like You.”
There’s also a little bit of electronics in here, like “Whiskey vs. Police,” a dancey loop with audio clips of Brits talking about whiskey, red wine and white wine. Cheers! “P.O.S. vs. Awesome Snakes” is a hip-hop track featuring fellow Minnesotan MC P.O.S. spouting excellent lines like “I got a name for people who don’t like snakes… ‘Fucker’,” “We got a strict policy to constrict” and “Might leave a little venom in ‘em.”
You don’t need to know the Soviettes to enjoy Venom, you just need to be in the mood for fun, screwin’-around punk music. Awesome party record (if your friends are cool)!