Watching a band evolve over time is an interesting experience, an experience made even the more enjoyable when the people involved are familiar to you and that evolution results in something truly satisfying. For me The Snakes are just such a band. Having witnessed the core of the band move through a number of ancient incarnations such as Band of Gypsy’s and The Imps and then through almost a decade under the present moniker, it’s great to finally see them truly come of age.
Whilst their debut album, Songs From The Satellites, really started to get their name talked about in all the right places, I think the much quoted accolade of “Muswell Hill’s own Whiskeytown” may have been slightly premature With Sometime Soon however, such a quote is bang on the money.
If the debut album was the sound of a British band borrowing, albeit very deftly, from someone else’s musical heritage, Sometime Soon sees them make a smooth transition across the water, the end result being much more Richmond, Virginia than Richmond upon Thames.
Gone are the more obvious “Stones does Country” references and in it’s place is a much more mature set of songs, this is the album that The Snakes were always destined to make. The brasher lead guitar driven sound of younger days has been replaced by a warmer and more layered approach and it’s this layering that seems to colour the album, the devil, they say, is in the detail and this is one devil of an album.
Amongst the pure country tracks such as Cumberland Breeze and We Can Fly are more introspective thoughts, Interview and the brooding Amaretto. What Have I Done To You even offers up some Latin back beats; maybe something of working as Tommy Hales pick up band got lodged in the subconscious. When it does rock out, which it does gloriously on Tin Foil Town and Come My Way, it is now on their own terms, beholden to none they now sound like…. The Snakes, job done.