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snack family

"perhaps the best way to describe snack family is dirty; their music oozes with bleeting baritone sax accompanying rhythms that couldn't pass a breathalyser test, combined with gruff vocals that draw instant comparisons to any number of blues shouters. despite being london-based, the band's aesthetic is aimed directly at america's southern regions; “this is music that gets right back to the heartlands” they say.

get a taste (being the operative word) of the group's new ep belly, out on may 19, with 'long pig', which opens with math-y syncopation set against a snaking baritone sax line that weaves around the beat, making for a solid jerkiness that finds an unlikely middle ground between battles and the birthday party." (long pig strea, the quietus may 14)

"in a world where everything seems to be as middle of the road as possible (as i write this the smooth synth tones of future islands’ ’70s love-in is apparently becoming ‘the biggest thing ever’), it’s the acts with a little more bite that really grab your attention. on one side of our current obsessions is the melee of styles being brought under an electro-r&b glow by the likes of kelela and young fathers, dipping into the romantic, modern innards of the individual, and on the other side is the grizzly, grainy guitars from the likes of fat white family and drenge, tapping into our grey surroundings.

it’s in this second category that snack family sit, as evidenced on their upcoming ep, belly (released on may 19th). opener ‘long pig’ half-stutters into view, full of bile and mouldy teeth, while the sax-soaked strut of title track ‘belly’ is so sleazy it’ll probably be hauled in for questioning by operation yewtree. andrew plummer’s throaty vocals combine ’60s rockabilly sensibilities with the weirdness of nick cave, captain beefheart and eighties matchbox, while tom greenhalgh’s staccato drums crack around james allsopp’s bluesy baritone saxophone. the whole ep digs up the desert vibes of southern gothic, while also having just enough british eccentricity to keep it from being unbearably retro – assisted no doubt by nostalgia 77′s ben lamdin being on production details. imagine a sticky, swamp rock incarnation of melt yourself down and you won’t be too far away." (belly ep review, the monitors may 14)

"ever wondered what the corruption of youth sounds like? well look no further; london-based trio, snack family, have arrived, offering up a debut ep that’ll have mary whitehouse turning in her grave. drawing comparisons to captain beefheart and muddy waters, belly presents dank, dirty blues smothered in sex, the musical equivalent of receiving a lap dance, whilst sat in the gutter, covered in one’s own filth.

kicking off ‘long pig’, james allsopp instantly becomes an incubus on baritone sax, blowing a blend of long sultry sections and crude honks. accompanied by clunky tuned down guitar and drums that are reminiscent of a drunk struggling up the stairs, the track sets the tone of the ep solidly.

belly, the name itself, suggests a mixture of nudity and gluttony, and conjures up images of a rather nasty joke from roger avary’s killing zoe, which involves a prostitute and the contents of somebodies stomach. the trudging instrumentation leaves little to the imagination; bold and greedy, snack family reveal all their dirty secrets, yet somehow leave the listener as the one feeling exposed.

the theme is continued on through frontman andrew plummer, his gruff vocals tell of carnal desires with regular reference to edibles for an extra grotesquely sexual effect – “i’m sweating like a cheese” he muses in the first line of the title track. plummer’s rasping can at times come across too cartoonish however; mixed down with an overly clean approach, they occasionally feel forced against the lethargic grime of the instrumental.

although there is little variation between tracks (arguably some tracks would fit an engine room better than a brothel, and vice versa) belly doesn’t feel like a lazy copy and paste affair, but rather a strong representation of a particular style. as a debut ep, it achieves all it needs to, inducting listeners into the seedy world of snack family with raunchy gusto and a sly wink."(belly ep review, noise cannon may 14)

"london's snack family first stalked into view with lupine kiss, a creeping rock n roll monster, replete with gravelly drumbeats, striptease guitars and the most gut-twisting sax we've heard in yonks. led by cutthroat vocalist james allsopp who sounds like he's doing all he can to vomit up his own tongue, the scuzzy trio drop their debut ep 'belly' next month…." (nme new music, april 14)

"belly' is a brief introduction into the world of snack family so, in keeping with that, i'm going to be brief as well. getting this horn-honkin' stink off to a raucous start is the most dirtiest of blues in the shape of 'long pig' and low end horn honkin' dirty white boy blues it most certainly is. it's awkward rhythm and glass 'n' whisky vocals ala tom waits so if you can (i know it's not too difficult) imagine tom's more lucid moments fronting a fucked up lounge band featuring the darkest parts of urban voodoo machine, gallon drunk, grinderman and other such purveyors of filthy white boy blues this london-based three piece knock out a very interesting and enjoyable (i might add) ep.
'belly' is a laid back hypnotic groove with low vocals and even lower sax honking and once you lock into that said groove you're in! relax and float downstream and let this be your twisted soundtrack with added harmonica distorting the sound further before the song reaches a sudden conclusion, good stuff.
this four track ep certainly tickled my fancy and if you have an inkling of curiosity or a love of any of the bands mentioned then invest some of your time into this beast and climb on board. very tasty tunes indeed. i look forward to hearing more. (belly ep review uberrock april 14)

"the black fug of acrid smoke creeps out of the monkey's mouth. but didn't the organ grinder inhale that big cigar? the velvet on the walls doesn't look so comforting now, more seedy, the swell-bellied trumpet player looks on and belches. in what world is this a peep show? you've been swizzed mate, proper stitched up and no mistaking. the 'drink' you've been served tastes like beer, but has none of the fizz and is slowly creeping past room temperature.

the band play, but you can't look, looking would only encourage them, their serpentine movements are sickening and the vocalist croaks with an unnerving amount of sleaze, the backing vocals just serve to back up his crotch-fondling mystique routine. you're in too deep, there's talk of pork belly, but you don't think it's going to to come served with sweet potato mash and a cranberry jus do you?

nope, this one comes with crisps and a disdainful look, the band are moving closer, but you have no idea why. the brass honks and squelches with no apparent awareness of time or space. tom waits, or someone who looks like him, nods approvingly in the corner, their disjointed sounds obviously pricking his back catalogue and his memory. the vocalist won't stop expounding lyrics that mess with your head. it's like neil hannon from the divine comedy is melting slowly before your eyes like a hideous, disintegrating waxwork.

snack family seemed like a strange name for a nightclub, you try to leave before you become the family's snack, but the tar-like thickness of the basement you've wandered into seems to hold you there steadfast. there's no getting out now, not for you." (belly ep review nine hertz april 14)

"in recent years, english rock bands have been fashionable in appearance - immaculate leathers and a manicured sound, so it’s very exciting to discover a group with a genuinely messed up sound- and not just for show. after spending three years drinking their own sweat and getting shocked by bad vibes, this london trio goes on the attack.
and the dandies end up hugging the walls when this polluted, dirty rock roars into life, which owes as much to the explosions of the birthday party, as to the unhinged blues of captain beefheart. the band cite morphine as one of their influences, it's always a great pleasure to find that that stormy rock did not die for nothing." (belly ep review les inrocks march 14)
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