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Album Review

Rise Up! features hard-pounding, heavily distorted, double-drummer-driven blues-punk that's definitely not intended for purists, as the Black-Eyed Snakes' noisy 46-second cover version of Swans' "Red Sheet" and their scraping, screaming sonic meltdown in the middle of the almost nine-minute "No Good Daddy" amply demonstrate. Thankfully, there's less self-conscious irony and posturing here than on the group's debut album, although the band has a running joke of giving itself and everyone else connected with this album down-home nicknames such as "Chicken-Bone" and "Big House." Alan Sparhawk's heavily filtered vocals sound appropriately vigorous and unhinged; they give the band a contemporary feel while fitting well with their relatively abrasive sound. However, his vocals also sound emotionally distant and don't convey much nuance (plus sometimes it's hard to understand what he's saying). Also, there isn't a surfeit of catchy tunes on this album, although that's not really what the band is about anyway. They tend to go for the sledgehammer approach, which is jus' fine if you're in the mood for it.

Rise Up, Black Eyed Snakes
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