The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads

Album Review by Chris McCall | 02 Apr 2014
  • The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads
Album title: Amphetamine Ballads
Artist: The Amazing Snakeheads
Label: Domino
Release date: 14 Apr

Those unfamiliar with Glasgow's The Amazing Snakeheads might presume this album is the sound of a band going back to basics; there's drums, bass, guitar, vocals and precious little else. But upon first listen you'll realise that this is a group who are playing to their strengths, firing on all cylinders and outmuscling much of the opposition in the process.

The no-frills rock n' roll of opening track I'm a Vampire recalls The Cramps at their most primal, and frontman Dale Barclay's blues-howl gives an unsettling edge to Where Is My Knife? The second half of Amphetamine Ballads slows the pace, and some of the earlier momentum is lost, but the threadbare Heading for Heartache touches a raw nerve. Given that the Snakeheads have built their reputation on being a live band of sometimes frightening intensity, they've done well to capute much of that spirit on this bare-bones but often illuminating record.