Friday, 12 October 2012

Review: Pick Your Side - Snakes and Ladders

Pick Your Side
Snakes & Ladders

1. Thru Veins
2. Bleeding Out
3. This is Not a Test
4. Throne of Privilege
5. But Wait!!
6. Don’t Cry (Neil Young cover)
7. Snakes and Ladders

When Pick Your Side started putting out music last year, I was simply relieved that something violent, angry and Haymaker-esque was coming out of Hamilton again.  Beyond that, I honestly didn’t expect much, let alone steady output and even semi-regular gigs to attend.  Fortunately, the boys in PYS seem to have some momentum behind them because they are back with their second 7”, and from what I understand, will be recording a 2nd LP for A389 in the not-too-distant future.  

This offering, Snakes and Ladders, picks up where Survival Prayer and Let Me Show You How Democracy Works left off.  The first four tracks offer up the same vitriolic, thrashy hardcore that they have become known for, and don’t away from subject matter ranging from betrayal (“Picture your life as a knife fight and you just got stabbed in the guts”) to middle class privilege (“...point blame in protest in the words you sing your bullshit songs, won’t change a thing.”). 

The next couple tracks, “But Wait!!” and “Don’t Cry” reveal the metal/sludge roots that this band also has.  “But Wait!!” is a nice mix of hardcore and metal, which just adds a dynamic element to the record that is welcomed, but “Don’t Cry” might take a little for some PYS fans to get used to.  Why, you ask?  Because it’s a droning, sludgy Neil Young cover that clocks in at over 7 minutes.  Yup, you heard me right.  I really enjoyed it from the 2nd listen onwards (I was a bit too thrown off by it at first), and love that this band truly doesn’t seem to care what anyone thinks of them or what they should be doing.

You can’t buy it yet (unless you go to one of their shows on their European tour or at Not Dead Yet Fest in Toronto), but you can listen to it here.

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