Lead Me to the Sun
A Wolf At Your Door Records
25 November 2013
There are plenty of reasons to think that Wicked Snakes are just another band meandering up the increasing broad path that sludgy, desert revivalists Baroness and Red Fang have popularised in recent years. The ponderous riffs, foaming vocals and an EP entitled Lead Me to the Sun implies yet another band paying homage to the ideals of Kyuss.
Lead Me to the Sun sounds like it was produced on a shoestring and as such all of the album’s components lay dangling out of the record’s guts. With none of the sort of latter day Baroness production sheen, there’s a whole heap of obvious influences that seem to contribute to Wicked Snakes’s sound. ‘Cold Heart’ has a nice little flippy riff, courtesy of the folkish punk scene, whereas the solo in ‘Death Notes’ plays around with Tom Morello’s bonkers guitar sound, before dropping back into the muscular, descending riff of the song’s bulk. Close your eyes for a second on the EP’s title track, and you could well be listening to a slither of the Eagles’s gifthorse ‘Hotel California’. Yes, this record is bathed in the hues of the harsh Red Sky Valley sun, but only in the most superficial of ways. This record troups across the globe to gather its array of esoteric, grooving influences.
Most vitally, though, is the record’s farsighted view in regards to its own metal scene. The increasing prevalence of UK-based metallic hardcore bands with clean but growled vocals has led to a proliferation in this kind of music. Wicked Snakes’s vocals may take leads from the likes of Feed The Rhino and, bizarrely, Enter Shikari, but their diverse music groans with the weight of experimentation.
Lead Me to the Sun is, thankfully, a record that has the broad shoulders to jostle out the identikit stoner sect that have popped up more and more over the last couple of years. In a year when Kylesa managed to sound like the Beastie Boys (just listen to the opening track on this year’s Ultraviolet to hear what we’re talking about), Wicked Snakes have created one of the more interesting and audacious homages to the desert that you’ll hear.
Standout Tracks: Cold Heart, Choirs, Lead Me to the Sun
Sounds Like: Feed the Rhino, Baroness