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Midnite Snake | review | rock | Lollipop

Midnite Snake

by Brian Varney

An instrumental acid rock power trio that lists High Rise among its influences? Sign me up. These three fellas hail from somewhere in the eastern half of the U.S. (the drummer's in Modey Lemon, so I'm guessing Pittsburgh or thereabouts), but based on the lo-fi squall captured on this disc, I mighta guessed they hailed from Japan and recorded for the PSF label, which released the brain damage laid down by High Rise, White Heaven, and other similarly-minded miscreants.

As a matter of fact, this sounds more like a practice tape than an actual release. There's no real mix to speak of, just all three instruments as loud as possible. So loud, in fact, that everything starts to distort on the top end and, if this were being played back in a studio with those VU meters, I'm confident all of 'em would be pinned to the right. This sorta production (or lack thereof) may seem like it'd be unpleasant to hear, and more often than not, it diminishes whatever power the music might possess, but I gotta tell ya, it's the exact sort of presentation this band needs. A beer-soaked novelty like "Machinegun Cock," where the band simply mimics the sound of machine-gun fire over the sound of sirens for two minutes or so just wouldn't sound right all big and clean and shiny, y'know? The lack of shine is also a great enhancement to the album's finest moment, closer "Acid Wash," in which the unaccompanied guitar thrashes through abandoned factories full of echo and wah pedal for four minutes or so before the rhythm section starts with a "Oh, were we supposed to be playing too?" and lumbers in behind the guitar and provides the kind of slipshod groove that sounds like Blue Cheer trying to do a Can cover. It sounds like a trainwreck, and it may be, but it's the sort of trainwreck I will drive 50 miles to see. When the whole thing ends 12 minutes later, my brain feels partially liquefied and I'm not sure whether or not I just shit my pants.
(PO Box 50777 Los Angeles, CA 50777)

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