Blues - Snakepit (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Snakepit (2007)


If following modern North American politics has taught me anything, it is that people love buzzwords and catchphrases. Blues seem like no exception to this. Apparently, the band jokingly has a catchphrase for their musical stylings: "Botch ‘n' Roll"...getting stoked yet? No? Didn't think so. Now, the word generic is etymologically linked to the word genre for a reason, because something that is generic simply follows the conventions and trends of their genre. How does Blues intend to break the mold, then? By following two of the biggest trends in metalcore of the past decade in copying Botch and throwing in some Southern rock riffs, of course!

While the dudes in Blues aren't bad musicians, they sort of end up of in a middle of the road between their apparent influences in that they aren't as technically proficient or heavy as Botch's work, nor are their Southern-fried riffs as catchy as a band like Every Time I Die's. At first I thought it was the brevity that made songs like "Surgical Repair of Time" and "Then, Came the Snakepit" outright forgettable once they hit their final note, but in actuality they just aren't very memorable in structure or execution. The situation improves somewhat in the middle of the album -- for example, the dissonant "Shock and Awe" remedies the band's earlier pitfalls by building from a repetitive riff to noisier, less structured approach with varied tempos, decent breakdowns and some really talented drum work. All the same, by the end of the album, the final track ruins the sequence and leaves the listener with a bad taste in their mouth. "Guillotine Eye" is bogged down with unnecessary double bass drumming and a relatively long running time, complete with a minute and a half of uninteresting noise and static.

The single saving grace of Sankepit is that whoever writes the lyrics has managed to combine a highly literate approach with genuine anger and malaise and done it in such a way that it is able to flow effortlessly with the relatively fast-paced music accompanying it. Regrettably, that music is rather mundane and fails to live up to the lyrical potential. When speaking about the blues, someone once told me, "You either get it or you don't"; in this instance, I must say that I don't.