The Deadly Snakes Ode to Joy

[In the Red; 2003]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: garage rock, bluesy rock, folk rock
Others: White Stripes, Liars

It is very easy to classify any up-and-coming group that remotely sounds like garage rock into a classification beyond self-worth, satisfaction, or imagination. Yes, the sound may be saturated, nowadays; but what is easily placed within the realms of the genre require a strong and open-minded listen to reveal its truly organic beauty. Toronto’s The Deadly Snakes can be easily referred to as garage rock, but what is embedded within that conclusion is one of the best odes to the folk, rock, bluegrass, gospel, and blues of yesteryears.

The Deadly Snakes' third album, Ode to Joy, goes beyond garage rock. The sound is truly hypnotic, like on “Trouble Gonna Stay Awhile,” intertwining guitar romp with piano jangles, thumping drum, and tambourine simultaneously, creating a chaotic and melodic ode to the 70s jam band. “Oh My Bride” summons up the sounds and styles of Bob Dylan, mixing chanting backgrounds and powerful lead vocals, building a completely modern prototype of heavy folk rock. And the opening track “Closed Casket” delivers a 21st century romp of excessive guitar griminess and modern day blues that outweigh any offering in this year's garage catalogue. The comparisons to 70s Rolling Stones may be far fetched, but The Deadly Snakes’ Ode to Joy is a near perfect musical achievement.

The Deadly Snakes go beyond any modern music band by going back and reinventing the sweet sounds of the 70s. They completely remove themselves as another gimmicky revival band by revitalizing the truly great and satisfying sounds of that era, focusing on improving and cultivating their music to remain fresh and inviting. Ode to Joy is a wonderful record that requires more attention. Believe it, this album is truly one of a kind.

1. Closed casket
2. I can't sleep at night
3. Playboys
4. Oh my bride
5. Troubles gonna stay awhile
6. I want to die
7. Burn down the valley
8. Nick & Chico
9. I'm leaving you
10. There goes your corpse again
11. Everybody seems to think (you've got some kind of hold on me)
12. Sink like stone
13. Mutiny & lonesome blues