Review: Super Snake “Leap of Love”

The latest contribution of work from Super Snake, Leap of Love, is a hallucination of epic proportions aimed in curating what is most notably a journey into the darkest part of the mind. A wormhole of epicness blended with the grimmest of rhythms.

Leap of Love plays quite simple at first listen with a rather fluid like construction. What seems like a peaceful ride on a small wake soon bursts open into thunderous breaks of hallucinated ridden blues. A kind of bellowing blues only the devil in the bayou could ever appreciate.

Now mix that notion in with some of the grooviest rock n’ roll riffs you’ve heard in quite some time and a healthy layer of acid trippin’ shoegaze and shit, you have quite the fucking sound.

The guitars work in perfect tandem to pull off this Black Sabbath meets My Bloody Valentine sound. Pete August (rhythm) combines the use of his detailed board (more on that subject with our interview) in generating a tormenting wall of noise for Joe Laga to place his signature leads all over.

Leap of Love pulls you in and out of reality like waves do when they clash on and off the rocks of a coastline. Often times there are moments when you feel as if you have been sucked into this hallowing abyss of self hysteria that it makes you question the environment you’re in.

Now, that very well could just be the acid trip’s point of view but let’s digress from that notion and continue forth on this haunting journey of love and evil.

Actually, let’s talk about one of my favorite aspects about this album; the songwriting. Jerry Jones (Trophy Scars) matches his voice on Leap of Love with varying degrees of timber. Neither scratchy or harsh, rather, drifting and lingering throughout those shoegaze moments and then growling in nature during the tumultuous parts. Overall, Jerry’s singing is quite proper in complementing this hallucinatory jaunting record as he combines his natural projection in conjunction with an effects processor (Boss VE – 8 for example) to create a unique style of singing that matches the music. It is important to understand that the effects that are used to modulate his voice are neither unnecessary or over produced. Rather, the dynamics being used accompany the the complexity of this composition.

The layout of the record is something you would expect from the singer of Trophy Scars to be in. However, don’t let that statement fool you as I’m sure any fan of Jerry’s songwriting know’s that his work is often etched in such an ambiguous manner that presents both awe and mystery to the listener. Each song is eloquently written in terms of both lyricism and music writing. To have one without the other would absolutely ruin a record of this caliber so it’s great to hear that isn’t a problem.

With everything in mind,and without any bias you may argue, this record is a phenomenal representation of taking forgotten elements from longstanding genres and cultivating it into something refreshing and unique. Doom, sludge, blues, and that old time rock n’ roll are all intrinsic within many of these pieces. As odd as a mix as that sounds, I can assure the listener that these fine young gents found just the way to pull it off without adding too much saturation or production behind it.

Tone is of the utmost importance with this intoxicating endeavor of music. What better way than by having Kevin Antreassian (Dillinger Escape Plan) under the helm of recording this production. We’ve talked extensively about Backroom Studios over the past few months in regards to the recent works of bands like Wastelands or On Sight. Kevin is the head engineer over at Backroom and as such he is able to provide a promising standard of production behind Super Snake’s sophomore release.

Leap of Love has been out since Valentine’s day and is available on nearly every major format of distribution. From how I’ve been listening to this lately, I’m pretty sure this one will be actively rotating throughout the library in the coming months. This is because Super Snake is able to produce records for listeners that love to find new meaning and understanding within music. To discover something through engaged listening over time is a feeling reflective of happiness and the wonder of awe. Highly recommend that the listener listen to this record from start to finish in order to grasp the emotional and contextual underlinings of the record.

Jesus Christ, there is just so much to take in from this one. From the enticing guitar work to the groovy coalition that is the drum and bass of this band and to the mesmerizing imagery that is held here, only those who crave a feeling of fulfillment will ever truly appreciate this album.

Interview with Rhythm Guitarist, Peter August

HEAD WALK: Leap of Love is full of distinctive styles, tone, and modulating effects throughout the record. What gear are you personally running through your rig and more importantly, what’s the pedalboard situation like?

Pete August: A LOT of gear. Current setup is a Splawn Quickrod 100 through a Bogner Uberschall 4×12 and a Framus Cobra 4×12. Mostly playing a 72 Tele Deluxe with a Gibson burstbucker in it.

We recently just got an endorsement with Rougarou Pedals out of Louisiana, so that is awesome. My pedalboard is a bit of a mess but here’s what I remember on it:

Boss tuner, Frantone “the sweet” Fuzz, Boss HM2, MXR EQ, Boss Bass Octave, tc electronics “transition” delay, Rougarou “banshee” reverb, this shitty Livewire reverb pedal from the 80’s that sounds horrible, but I love it, two line 6 dl4’s (because 1 isn’t enough), and a Digitech whammy from the 90’s.

HW: Influences can answer a lot when asking what inspired someone to write the music they did. Were there any records that you or the band had been listening to while writing the Leap of Love?

PA: We wanted to make a record that incorporates everything we love but is still listenable. Keep in mind we love a ton of stuff. The hardest part for us was making all of our influences work together so I’ll answer this question in two parts:

1. Stuff we always listen to: Black Sabbath, Mr. Bungle, QOTSA/Kyuss, Sonic Youth, & The Jesus and Mary Chain.

2. Stuff I had been listening to around the time we wrote this: Allah Las, Tame Impala, had been on a healthy Sleep and Fugazi kick at the time, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, & even Orchid (the stoner band not the screams band).

HW: One of the greatest feelings that any musician could ever feel is when they finally get to showcase the music they’ve been working on for a live crowd. The Leap of Love release show was one hell of a time and I would like to know how that evening was for you?

PA: For me it was hectic, but worth it. I work doing sound at the venue (Mexicali Live) we through the show at. My mom came to the show and was her first time ever seeing me play, which was it’s very own special kind of anxiety. I wanted it to go off without a hitch and I’m a particular kind of guy. Luckily, it wound up going off without a hitch. The room was packed, all the opener bands were awesome, and we played our set tight. From what I could tell it sounded beastly. The album has been selling really well and I haven’t found any negative reviews online. Been more press than I’m used to for an album we put out via DIY, but that’s a good thing right?

HW: Shit, that’s more than any band could ever ask for. So what can we expect from the Super Snake camp in the future?

PA: We’re working on some tours for late spring. Hopefully Europe in the fall. We’re halfway into writing our next album and it’s starting to take a really cool vibe. We wanna focus on playing more out of state stuff, so bookers hit me up!

HW: Last words and final thoughts?

PA: Working my ass off everywhere. Garrett got a stick up his ass to start writing another Banner record, Nick Lang got a stick up his ass to start writing a new Choke record, and I have a stick up my ass to write an even cooler Super Snake record. So long story short a bunch of people got sticks up their asses and I’m gunna have a busy summer.

Below is a collection of shots taken by the ever talented Nicole Spangenburg from the Leap of Love release show at Mexicali Live last month. All rights are reserved under her name. Enjoy kiddos!

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