Sometimes sounding like the past isn't a bad thing. Los Angeles rockers Silver Snakes prove that with the rerelease of their 2011 debut Picture of a Floating World. Sounding like they were leftover from the '90's punk era, the band focuses on raucous riffs and unpredictable song construction that separates them from the pack.
The album kicks off with perhaps its best tune, the high energy "New Light" with screeching guitars that power over the actual lyrics. "Echo Eyes" opens strangely with a barely audible verse that evolves into one of the lighter tracks on Picture of a Floating World. By calming their instruments, even to a small degree, lead singer Alex Estrada has the chance to showcase his confident vocals with just a tad of vulnerability.
Around halfway through, Silver Snakes' unique songwriting started to wear a bit thin. I'm all for artists wanting to break away from the conventional verse-chorus-verse format and try something new, but they go to the well one too many times. Several songs, including "Constant," feature an extended musical break after the first chorus. This might sound novel, but the choice quickly becomes predictable and feels like an easy way to stretch out the runtime.
Most interesting is "Act I: Sevilla the Soothsayer" with its heavy emphasis on the bass guitar. Channeling Nirvana's In Utero, the band isn't shy about letting the feedback fly. The track seemingly ends with the aforementioned buzz of feedback, but then randomly morphs into what can only be described as a few lines from a Western revenge tune. Strange, yet enjoyable at the same time.
Silver Snakes will be supporting HRVRD on tour this July and are currently preparing their second album which will be out later this year. To quench the fans' thirst in the meantime, Animal Style Records rereleased the band's debut on limited colored vinyl. As a bonus, two new songs have been released in a single entitled "Old Light." Picture of a Floating World is a solid album that won't bore listeners. Unfortunately, repeated song formats spoil some of the fun.