We’re glad to announce that Gdansk, Poland-based indie rock band Snakedoctors have released a new double-album, entitled Four And A Half.
Snakedoctors are four friends who started their band in Gdansk in May 2020. They’ve since released eighteen singles (including a Christmas special and a song in Czech under name Jiri Blaha & Framuga Boys) as well as four albums: Obligation, Joy Free Bowl, Mellow Joy, and their latest double-album, Four And A Half.
Snakedoctors’ biggest hit single so far, “Close That Door,” was at #1 for over 30 weeks in Poland at Radio Olsztyn Top 40 as well as at Radio Ostrowiec Top 20; while their song “Crime Story” reached #2 at Radio Ostrowiec Top 20. And another track, “Got Him Another Girl,” reached #1 on the radio airplay chart for Central America. All of Snakedoctors’ singles have charted at Poland iTunes Rock Top 100 (many of them reaching #1), as well as at one of the indie radio charts in the UK (including three tracks at #1, “A Song,” “Tinder Girl,” and “Crime Story”) and on other radio charts in the US, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru.
Four And A Half is the fourth Snakedoctors album in just two years. It’s a double album, similarly to two-sided albums on cassettes and vinyl. The Red album (Side A) continues the band’s recent fascination with new wave, dark wave and post-punk, and there is more electronic music on it again. On the Red album, there are 11 new songs as well as two alternative versions and two completely different remixes done by a talented artist from Canada, Grace Chiang. There’s also a new wave remix of one of the Side B songs done by the band’s guitarist. The Black album (Side B) contains songs that are more inspired by grunge; starting with “Too Many” and “Fade Away” to “Inside,” “Mean and Ugly,” and “Wuss,” all of these songs were mixed and mastered by Dawid Gorgolewski at Osso Studio in Gdansk, PL.
Apart from producers known from previous albums (Chris Bolster from Abbey Road Studios and Andy “Happy” Baldwin from Metropolis Studios in London), Snakedoctors also worked with Joe Gibb and Kevin Paul, who have worked previously with Depeche Mode, the Cure, Yazoo, the Kinks, the Mission and David Bowie. Also, one of the songs was mixed and mastered by Matt Gerhard, who works with the band Spoon; and Corey Alley (Hobbit Hole Records), one of Snakedoctors’ vocalist/guitarist’s US friends from his college times when they both played in bands, appears on the album. The first singles from Four And A Half have already charted in Poland (Radio Olsztyn and Radio Ostrowiec charts) and in other countries (the UK and Central America), as well as receiving airplay on four continents.
“Crime Story” begins Side A of the album with its icy post-punk beat and compelling vocal melodies, which are nicely highlighted by powerful electric guitar leads. The new wave-inspired “Friday Night” then follows, which is driven by pleasantly retro-sounding synths and minimalistic electronic rhythms. Next is “Heart Too Small – Radio Version,” with its contemplative alternative rock sound, sustained by motorik rhythms and underscored by a range of atmospheric guitar effects.
“B Song – WW Remix” is another new wave-influenced track, with retro synth leads nicely harmonizing with catchy intertwining male and female vocals to create a sound that is electronic and dark, ultimately leading into a compelling instrumental section with the electric guitar and synths harmonizing wonderfully. “Too Many – Radio Version” is then characterized by a melancholic chord progression sustained by distorted guitars and ethereal synths, which are accompanied by hypnotic rhythms from the drums and bass. “Wonder Girl – Radio Version” is a reflective and sentimental song, with its reverb-laden guitar melodies patiently unfolding as female backing vocals later join in to complement the track’s poetic lyrical passages.
Next is “Wuss – Radio Version,” with its humorous lyrics underscored by tasteful distorted guitar melodies filtered through some very cool effects. “Love” follows, with its bright synth notes and steady rhythms creating a pleasantly breezy post-punk sound; while “Girls” has a fun rocking melodic sensibility led by a distorted guitar chord progression, perfectly accompanying its whimsical lyrics. “Heart Too Small – Grace Remix” is then highlighted by catchy, clean-toned guitar melodies and electronic beats in this revisited, slowed-down version of the track; while the instrumental “Charlie – Has Gone To Heaven” is characterized by a driving mid-tempo beat, with dynamic percussion and entrancing, interweaving melodies from the bass, guitar, and synths.
“Wanna Fly” then creates an introspective atmosphere with dreamy guitar melodies and vocals, later highlighted by trippy oscillating guitar effects; while the wistful guitar and vocal progressions in “Lisa” bring about a tinge of melancholy that nicely juxtaposes with the song’s upbeat rhythms and powerful distorted guitar tones that kick in later during the track. “Crime Story – New Wave Version” then revisits the themes of the first track from the album, with metallic bass synths bringing a more new-wave sound to the song. After a superb alternative version of “Friday Night,” “Wonder Girl – Grace Lo-fi Remix” presents listeners with a more atmospheric version of the track, with synths and piano notes that sparkle and shimmer ethereally amidst distant vocals.
“Too Many” opens side B of the album, bringing listeners a wonderfully catchy mid-tempo grunge track with powerful distorted guitar accompanying the song’s compelling male and female vocals. “Fade Away” then begins with noisy dissonance between the bass and guitars, suitably accompanying the song’s jagged riffs and aggressive vocals; while a more grunge-inspired version of “Heart Too Small” follows, taking the song in a new direction with the addition of guitar effects that at times envelop the track in layers of swirling distortion. Next is another version of “Wuss,” which has a slightly heavier, more shoegaze-inflected sound and is highlighted by dreamy guitar effects.
“Mean And Ugly” continues the heavier theme of the album’s Side B with a gritty distorted guitar progression, later featuring a searing solo towards the end of the track; while on “Inside,” the listener can be lost in hypnotic rhythms, further sustained by steady walls of distortion. “Soreshine”’s dynamic percussion and groovy bassline then set the perfect backdrop for the song’s poetic lyrical passages, which culminate with a brilliant noise-rock guitar solo towards its ending. Next is an alternate version of “Wonder Girl,” which takes the track in a heavier and noisier direction with more distorted guitar textures. The album then closes with “B Song – Part I,” with its bass-heavy sound and analog synth-led melodic passages creating the perfect catchy groove to conclude the record.
Both the new wave/dark wave/post-punk inspired Side A and grunge inspired Side B of Four And A Half once again showcase Snakedoctors’ penchant for crafting memorable and enjoyable indie tracks. And at the same time that Snakedoctors evoke such eclectic musical styles through their impressive songwriting, their output remains nonetheless unique, bringing a fresh perspective to listeners. Snakedoctors have also already recorded most of the songs for their fifth album, so fans can no doubt look forward to this upcoming release soon.
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