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It's the Black Eyed Snakes

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Album Review

The Black-Eyed Snakes draw their inspiration from the rawest of the raw electric Mississippi blues, as well as from a couple of less-apparent sources (Moby and the Fall?). Aside from the short and sweet closing ditty, "Cheerios on the Floor," It's the Black-Eyed Snakes wallows in abrasively distorted revivalist blues of the creepy and dark variety. Who would've expected Alan Sparhawk to sing, much less pen, a murderous tale about the consequences of adultery called "8-Inch Knife"? Chock-full of blues standards, modern covers, and plenty of original cautionary tales (it's been described as having Saturday night and Sunday morning rolled into one hotly visceral experience), the record could've failed to exceed the status of a silly one-off novelty. What saves it from that dire fate and heightens the expectations of a follow-up is the band's chemistry, attitude, and their ability to have fun with their audience. To wit, It's the Black-Eyed Snakes is enhanced with a Quicktime video of the band playing live at one of the seediest bars in Duluth. So if you've ever wanted to actually see Sparhawk banging his head to a thunderous washtub beat while howling over some of the dirtiest blues riffs this side of the Fat Possum roster, you're in luck. But be ready to have a good time; the Black Eyed Snakes are as sweaty and rowdy as a summer night on Beale Street, and about as crazy as a naked romp in a chicken coop.

It's the Black Eyed Snakes, Black Eyed Snakes
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