The Return of the Likely Lads
Snuff’s 5-4-3-2-1-Perhaps? well worth the wait
By Jo Jo King
Whatever happened to the likely lads? They’ve been away for a while, somewhere in Japan. Now they’ve returned with material so new, it’s likened to a musical haiku. Put your hands together lads: Snuff’s back.
Nine years after their last full-length studio release, Duncan Redmonds and company have returned with more of the infectious, face-paced street punk you’ve grown to expect from this lot, while mixing in classic rock riffs and that amazing Hammond organ sound that should be requisite for any rock band featuring keys.
To be fair to Snuff, its faithful fans and its new fans, we’ll abstain from comparing 5-4-3-2-1-Perhaps? to past Snuff material – we’ve all changed a little the last decade – rather we’ll look at it for what it is a 12-track statement of genius composed of genuine material from a band that 25 years later continues to develop its sound.
The salient point of “In the stocks,” if not the entire album, is the Hammond. Played exceptionally by Lee Murphy, the sound takes you back to a time when punk was arising from the underbelly of what today is considered classic rock, with a sound all its own. It’s smooth. It’s powerful. It’s the exclamation point! And, though wisely not featured on every track, it serves its purpose well throughout the album.
There’s something about 5-4-3-2-1-Perhaps? that continually entices the listener. It’s not an album that will blow you away at first – there are just too many elements to take in; however, after three or four listens, you will come to the pleasant realization that this is so much more than just another British street punk album.
“There Goes the Waltzinblack” is simply an awesome song. You know it will be the moment you hear it – and if you listen to everything Fat Wreck Chords, chances are you already have. It’s not all about the lyrics either; the music on this track is hauntingly peaceful.
“Rat Run” is one of those songs that when you’re among a group of people, be it at the pitch or in a pub, you instantly feel the need to throw your weight around. Again the Hammond here is electrifying. Speaking of electrifying, Loz Wong’s face-melting solos and Lee Batsford’s ripping bass on this and most every track on the album can not be overstated.
There are drinking songs and then there’s “EFL.” It’s not a song that is so much an excuse to drown in whiskey, but rather one that is met with drunken aplomb when it blares through your speakers.
It all comes together on “Mary Poppins.” I’m not afraid to admit this track brought a tear to my eye. It’s that good. A bit Deep Purple, a bit AC/DC, incredibly Snuff. One of the few songs on the album you can sing along to – for everything he does well on drums, Redmonds was not blessed with angelic vocal chords – and it features everything Snuff brings to the table: Oliver Stewart’s trombone, Wong’s solos, Batsford’s rhythm, Redmond’s beats and Murphy’s ever-enticing Hammond.
Whatever happened to the likely lads? They’ve returned and, in turn, have made 5-4-3-2-1…Perhaps? well worth the wait.
5-4-3-2-1…Perhaps? will be released on January 08,2013 on Fat Wreck Chords, but you can pre-order right now from the link below.