Poison & Snakes
There’s something to be said about spending time with an album beyond the groggy fifteen minute 5am drive to work. Posion & Snakes, in a car lacking perfect sound insulation, is a nice record, a decent combo of lo-fi 21st century gospel and southern California indie rock. Nice enough, but sort of faceless among the current outpouring of neo-folk. However, at home and pumped through adequate headphones, a whole undiscovered (by me) array of interesting arrangements is brought to light.
On every song, a clangorous palette of odds and ends unfolds, as Janes and producer Rafter Roberts thread sonic needles through Janes’s genre spanning songwriting. Such disparate material as the gravel road hipster bounce of “Streetlight,” the limply strummed ukulele verses of the title track, the shambolic, free form rubble of landfill instruments on “Sets to Cleaning” come nicely knotted together, thanks to equal time spent studying antique folk songbooks and production equipment manuals.
Janes has an ideal voice for this kind of proto-everything project. She sounds most comfortable with a lonesome hymnal warble on “Wonderkiller” and the title song, that the vocal heights she hits on the thunderous “Vine” are quite overwhelming. They’re so powerful that not even the sounds of the morning drive can drown them out. In these days of constant genre hybridization, Janes keeps most of her influences compartmentalized, and still manages to turn in a successful, focused record. I’m already looking forward to the next one.
Asthmatic Kitty: www.asthmatickitty.com