Californian metal heads Sea Of Snakes rip it up in pretty convincing fashion on their debut EP World On Fire. Rooted in the traditions of Motörhead and Corrosion of Conformity, with a little Orange Goblin thrown in for greasy-jeaned measure, these lads don’t inhabit a world where new ground is broken or wheels are reinvented; however if heavy, unforgiving riffage and slinky, melody-drenched solos are your thing you should still probably get your vaccination papers in order and pay them a visit. You won’t regret it.
Tracy Steiger has a pleasingly ragged voice; tinged with hints of Bush and Garcia it’s the perfect front for riff extravaganzas like the excellent Son Of Man, wherein the band (rounded out by guitarist Jim McCloskey, bassist Mick Coffman and tub thumper Jeff Murray) deliver the good stuff in exuberant fashion. The more sinister Drink Your Teeth adds a skin-crawling grunginess to the mix for added misery, the heaviness of the riffs offset by some nice colour work from McCloskey, who delivers eerie embellishment to the song’s basic primal roar.
Despite the ‘old fashioned’ nature of much of the material, the band covers a lot of ground over the course of the five tracks on offer here; however they retain a core sound – largely thanks to the styles of Steiger and McCloskey, I think – which keeps things connected and gives a nice feeling of coherence to the release. As the final notes of closing track Fear Behind the Stare drift off into the darker recesses of your brain, you’ll not only want to go back to the start and listen to the whole thing again – you also find yourself keen to hear where these guys go next on their sonic journey. And that has to be a good sign, surely. Well worth a listen.
World On Fire releases on April 2nd.