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Amphetamine Ballads

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Album Review

Dale Barclay does not seem to be the sort of guy you want to invite over to your house for dinner. Barclay is the lead singer and guitarist with the British rock band the Amazing Snakeheads, and between the frequent bouts of antisocial and violent impulses that inform their lyrics on their debut album, Amphetamine Ballads, and the venom-spitting vehemence with which he delivers them, Barclay seems like the kind of guy who may just be playing with us, but then again he might not be. The Amazing Snakeheads follow the Birthday Party and the Gun Club in the bad hoodoo school of rock, constructed from equal parts shrieking guitars, swampy atmosphere, and bad karma, but while Nick Cave and Jeffrey Lee Pierce gave their personas enough depth of detail that they seemed three-dimensional if truly forbidding, with his thick brogue and growling delivery, Barclay appears more convincingly nuts, and his bandmates (William Coombe on bass and Jordon Hutchison on drums) bash out a simpler, less nuanced accompaniment for Barclay's lyrical psychodrama and barbed-wire guitar figures. Curiously, while Barclay himself manages to creep out listeners with these songs, the overall effect of the band is not as strong: the rhythm section is solid, but Barclay's guitar needs more support to turn his riffs into proper songs, and too many of these tracks feel undernourished, as if Barclay's theatrical bent has to compensate for the fact the material needs more flesh on its bones. Amphetamine Ballads is a debut that shows real promise, but if this band really wants to put the fear into the world, the first step on their reign of terror should be to hire a rhythm guitarist.

Customer Reviews


Love this band can't wait for the album to be released if you like this type of music then it's the best out there just now

Amazing debut

Wow, a powerful album from a Scottish band.
Dark,angry and focused this album relentlessly punches mediocrity in the face

John Peel

Where's the man when a band needs him.....


Formed: 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Delivering fiery blues-infused garage rock straight out of a film noir nightmare, the Amazing Snakeheads are a Glasgow-based trio consisting of singer and guitarist Dale Barclay, bassist William Coombe, and drummer Jordon Hutchison. Barclay and Coombe had known one another since childhood, and Barclay got to know Hutchison, originally from New Zealand, when they were neighbors; all three men were serious music fans who went to shows together and compared notes on records, but they never planned on...
Full bio
Amphetamine Ballads, The Amazing Snakeheads
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Customer Ratings