CHARMING SNAKES, THE: Ammunition: CD

It took awhile to get my ear around the Charming Snakes, and here’s my guess. Folks who really like(d) indie rock and pre-’95 alternative got sick of the drooling-into-a-shoe, preciousness that it’d morphed into (hello Shins! Viva Scared of Chaka!), circled back to its widespread roots. I hear, at times, Jesus and Mary Chain, Hüsker Dü, Love and Rockets, early Blues Explosion, Joy Division, Mudhoney, and Psychedelic Furs. I’ll admit, I was ehh on it for the first couple of spins. It took me a bit to get the lay of land. Thery’ve mapped out a jangley/raw force duality that works well. Their songs shimmer like pop gold, while being gray and gloomy as the inside of an empty refrigerator. Another way to put it is that Ammunition’s got muscles and sticks the adjective “progressive” into many of punk’s holes to satisfying result. The Charming Snakes reveal an odd-angled danceability that makes them spazzy-catchy, much like contemporary bands The Arm and Manikin. Plus, there aren’t many modern bands that can have a sax-heavy, eight-minute track blend right in with the shorter, snappier numbers. I sure don’t know how Ken Dirtnap keeps on finding bands of this caliber, but bless him for it.

 –todd (Dirtnap)