25 Nov 2020
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The Snake Behaviour - Album Review: Serpent Psychology

15 Jun 2019 // A review by Jamie Denton

Christchurch-based rock band The Snake Behaviour have recently released their debut full-length album entitled Serpent Psychology. Having been familiar with the band’s name, but not their music, I was nervously excited to check this out. Consisting of the classic four-piece line-up (vocals, guitars, bass, and drums), this is a tight, fast, lean, and well-oiled machine. The album itself shows a maturity within the playing, song-writing, and arranging, yet simultaneously a youthful exuberance of energy and fun.

The album kicks off with the melodic stomp-rocker, Ragnarok; a catchy, foot-tapping, head-banging, fist-pumping alternative-rock track that, due to vocalist Chris Bull’s vocal delivery, leans also into the arena of modern punk. This is a track that lays down a massive groove that compels, nay demands, you to move, and must absolutely rip the roof off venues when played live. Who knew that a song named after the end (and rebirth) of the world could be so goddamn fun?

Nestled in the middle of Serpent Psychology is what initially seems like an odd decision. A relatively faithful cover of the Pennywise classic, Bro Hymn, featuring slightly altered lyrics to honour more local heroes that the band have lost. Kicking off with a heavily filtered riff by guitarist Michael Gibbs, The Snake Behaviour deviate from the original by bringing in the full band much earlier. It is with this arrival of the confident, composed, yet driving rhythm section of bassist Sam Grueber and drummer Samuel Keen, that the song picks up the momentum that it carries with it through to the final notes. As a long-time fan of the original (and Pennywise’s own updated version), it took me a few listens to really get my head around this, to thoroughly enjoy, and to truly appreciate the subtle changes this version brings. Highlights of this song are the absolute face-melter of a guitar solo, the rock-solid and powerful rhythm section, and the gut-wrenchingly tortured, raw, and incredibly heartfelt vocal delivery closing out the final verse.

Other highlights (for me) of this album include the relentless Reaper, the slow-burning closing track The Nameless, and the alt-rocker Colour Runs Cold. This is a solid effort, a great foundation from which to build the next album/EP, and an album that ultimately makes me want to make sure I catch this band in a live setting, as I am sure that these tracks would absolutely slay live!

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About The Snake Behaviour

Coming out of the abyss, Christchurch rockers The Snake Behaviour have gone from strength to strength over the last few years and quickly become a must see live act. With a history in excess of 14 years they have been a long time staple of the Christchurch music landscape, and the release of their 2015 single Ragnarok, announced the band as a legitimate force in the local scene.

Built on a bed of thunder from their head splitting engine room in the form of bassist Sam Grueber and drummer Samuel Keen, and the classic heavy rock riffs of tallismanic guitarist Michael Gibbs, the band has evolved to pioneer their own brand of music, part heavy rock, part metal, and, with the influence of long time front man Chris Bull, part punk as well. The Snake Behaviour are that band that have their backs against the wall, but plenty of F#$k you ready to fly.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Snake Behaviour

Releases

Serpent Psychology
Year: 2019
Type: Album

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