Saturday, June 25, 2022

Crime Stories, Friday Nights and A Whole Lot More: Snakedoctors Release Double Album ‘Four And A Half’

If there’s one band that works hard, it has got to be Snakedoctors.

If they’re not releasing a new single, then they’re releasing a new EP, and if it’s not an EP - it’s a brand new album. True masters of their craft, Snakedoctors are back with their latest double album, ‘Four and a Half.’ 

Snakedoctors have been busy these last couple of years, despite only starting to record together in 2020; this is their fourth album release. Based in Gdansk, Poland, the band comprises four friends - vocalist and guitarist Wojciech Wypch, bassists Jacek Karanat and Jaroslaw Szybowski, and the keyboard and drummer Robert  Porazk

‘Four and a Half’ opens with the track ‘Crime Story.’ This is the first insight into what seems to be a newer and refreshed sound for the band. Taking on a combo of new wave and post-punk reminiscent of the 1980s, think The Cure but with their own added flair, alongside a sound that can only be described as toe-tapping, head-bopping funk. ‘Crime Story’ oozes with emotion that perfectly showcases Wypch’s sprechstimme vocals blending with his guitar playing ability. 

With newfound nostalgia of the ‘80s within this album, 'Friday Nights’ from the get-go, it's captivating and funky. It begins with a slow, simple drum beat that eases into an equally catchy bassline before the vocals kick in. The rhythm of the overall track consistently builds up in energy, shown through melodic synth riffs. 

Just when you thought things couldn’t get new wave, play ‘B Song - WW Remix.’ This song is everything you’d associate with the ‘80s, opening with a heavy synth that is so addictive to listen to it will have you tapping that replay button without a doubt. In this tune, alongside the harmony between masculine and feminine vocals, everything in the song works and is addictive to listen. 

If new wave or post-punk isn't your vibe, the second half of ‘Four and a Half’ takes a grunge approach. This is heavily shown in 'Wanna Fly’ which completely steps away from synths. This track consists of raw guitars, vocals and emotion. There is an eerieness to this track that almost will make the listener feel as though they are floating.

This shift in sound continued in the track 'Heart Too Small,’ not to be confused with the radio version; this track combines Snakedoctors’ usual sound of ‘simple rock and roll’ with an added dose of grunge. The use of heavy guitar distortions and shredding gives the overall track depth and layers; mixing this with Wypch’s vocals and emotional lyrics creates a thought-provoking and highly relatable song. 

Snakedoctors continue to embrace this heavier sound in ‘Too Many,’ ‘Fade Away,’ and ‘Mean And Ugly.’ Each track paints a different image in the listener’s mind, fuelled by emotion and rustic-like vocals. The guitar playing in each of these tracks is phenomenal.

Snakedoctors are non-stop and are on a constant wavelength of creativity. They delve in deep with the new wave sound and their grunge side. This album is diverse and has a little bit of everything for everyone. Each track on this album proves how extremely talented all four members are. If ‘Four and a Half’ is anything to go by, then we can expect the unexpected from Sankedoctors. 


Ana Joy King


Image: ‘Four and a Half’ Official Album Cover 

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