With Snuff having been on hiatus for the better part of a decade, it is easy to forget the sound they forged so well. By the time Snuff were hitting arguably their peak form in the 1990’s, punk had been successfully reborn under an American light. There were a few great bands whose carbon copies were everywhere, but Snuff were always the only thing they could be, themselves. Whether it was the ridiculously named songs, or the tremendously catchy trombone and Hammond organ infused punk, they were unique.
When I initially heard that Snuff were releasing a new album of brand new material I was surprised. There had been the occasional Japanese tour here, and the odd NOFX support slot there, but it seemed that these likely lads had called it a day. So to have the brand new Snuff album ‘5-4-3-2-1-Perhaps?’ to listen to, is frankly, a moment worth savoring.
Ten seconds into the opening track ‘In The Stocks’, the glorious sound of Lee Murphy’s Hammond acts as a sonic reminder to those salad days, but with it comes the sound of a band who seem to have little interest in looking back. The track with its hand clap welcome and energetic pace is a glimpse into an impressive new arsenal of songs.
This form continues with follow up tracks: ‘From Underneath The Ice’ and ‘There Goes Walzinblack’. Both are well worked, with the former managing to sound both ‘Classic’ and ‘Fresh’ at the same time, and the latter a prime example of a perfectly executed pop song.
It seems, with all their time off, Snuff have built up a little anger. ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ is a snarling beast of a song. Simply put, it’s a two minute blast that is as enjoyable as it is frantic. ‘I Blame The Parents’ is similar, another brief burst of anger that brings ‘Snuff’ screaming into the 21st Century.
That’s not to say that the Snuff of old have all but disappeared, far from it. ‘Mary Poppins’ is likely not to be a track you will appreciate immediately, like the majority of the album it will grow on you until you find yourself singing every word in a cockney accent.
Also of note, is the excellent drunken lullaby ‘EFL’. A song for drunken imbibers everywhere, this is a rousing tale of excess we can all lift a glass to.
The organ fuelled ‘All Good Things’ brings the album to a close with aplomb. Not only have ‘Snuff’ seemingly out of the blue released a new album, it is arguably up there with their finest work. As it should be, it’s over all too quickly.
For those who don’t have ‘Snuff’ in their lives yet, you could do a lot worse than buying this album, and thereafter consuming their back catalogue. For those that do, you already know. Snuff are back, ‘snuff said.