More genius from the UK’s greatest ever punk band
First of all, let me make get one thing clear. I love Snuff. They’re amazing. In my opinion, they’re the second greatest band to have come out of the UK in my lifetime. (The first is Radiohead for those who are wondering.) Snuff have constantly delivered amazing songs over the lifespan of the band Half Tidy Like, Martin, Do Nothing, Dow Wow Boof Boof, Caught In Session, Romeo and Juliet, Ticket, B, Cricklewood, Bacharach, Hilda Ogden and the Thick Plottens. The list is endless. Albums such as ‘Tweet Tweet My Lovely’ and ‘Demussabebonk’ are punk staples. Snuff’s songs are catchy, the lyrics are clever and you end up with a great big smile on your face.
5-4-3-2-1… Perhaps? is Snuff’s latest offering. Released by Fat Wreck Chords, the LP comes in 3 different colours – a mailorder only purple with green haze, limited to 407 copies; 100 copies on green vinyl (with Fat Wreck centre labels) that you can only get by buying it in person from the Fat Wreck store in San Francisco and a standard black issue.
As I missed the boat with the mail order issue coupled with the fact I’m never ever going to be able to go to San Francisco (I emailed Fat Wreck to see if they’d send me a copy but didn’t get a reply), I have the black vinyl version. There’s not much to say about the actual physical record. The sleeve and vinyl are fairly standard stuff, however there’s a double-sided lyric inner and a MP3 download voucher.
It’s evident from the opening hand-claps of ‘In The Stocks’ (which football-goers will find recognisable) that Snuff haven’t strayed too much from their tried and tested formula. It works for them so why change it? The song is an instant classic and it’s clear to see why it was the first single released. The mixture of melodic guitar, trombone and hammond organ are all present, so too the trademark lyrics – “Taking it all down around you, hearty liquid breakfast inside you”.
The other standout track is EFL. It’s no exaggeration when I say this is a work of pure genius. It’s a ‘bouncy’ song (alomst cockney knees-up) about ‘Ethel’ and generally growing up and getting old. The song takes us through Ethel’s life, about how she’s tired of it all and just needs a break but realises she can’t get away – ‘a blank expression in her eyes’. About how she recognises old parts of her street when she returns, about the ‘faces in the bank are just the same but a little bit older, wricklier, sagging and grey like me’, about wondering if she still thinks about the times when the only thing ahead of her was the future. The lyrics are fast-paced and this is where reaching for the lyrics pays off. It really is 4 minutes of class and it’s by far and away the best song on the record.
I Blame The Parents is a Snuff song I heard when they played live at The Old Bell hotel in Derby last year. Every now and again, Snuff will do a song like this. Faster guitars, more distortion, darker lyrics. Songs such as ‘Fuck Off’ and ‘Cake’ to a lesser extent (which isn’t really a song, more like Duncan shouting ‘CAAAAAAKKKKKKKKE’ for the 3 seconds). I Blame The Parents fits into this bracket. It’s a song about the parents of serial killers; about how you always hear about the serial killer themselves rather than the people who turned them into the monsters they are – the parents.
Rounding off the album are the two acoustic versions of In The Stocks and EFL. These again are outstanding but you already know that before listening to them.
All in all, another fantastic album by Duncan and the boys.
In the Stocks
From Underneath the Ice
There Goes the Waltzinblack
Bones for Company
I Blame the Parents
All Good Things / Cherubs Delight (Outro)
In the Stocks (Acoustic Version)
EFL (Acoustic Version)