Snog's last few albums diverged from industrial into weird country western territory, a jarring enough departure that surely lost the band a portion of their fan base. Their latest album is largely a return to their more familiar electronic sound; it's a pity, then, that it lacks the songwriting strength of its most recent predecessor. Snog's singer and songwriter David Thrussell has a talent in expressing a dissatisfaction with modern society that borders on the misanthropic through humor and sarcasm, and that comes through on the sardonic "Al Qaeda Is Your Best Friend" or the Tom Waits parody "Don't Go Down To The Woods Today," but tracks like "Bourgeois," "Poison" and the anti-television screed "Turn On Your Brain Baby" veer too often into preachy repetition. The music, thankfully, keeps things interesting, with pulsing beats and nervewracking cut-up orchestra music on "Neighbour Of The Beast" being a particularly bright example of what Snog does best. "King Of Hate" is also a winner, starting out with intentionally mechanical drum programming before kicking in with a twangy slide guitar on the chorus. Towards the end of the album, things get more and more eclectic; "The De-Evolutionaries," a meditation on the creationist movement, verges on country with its slow organs and languid electric guitar, and "A Hymn For The Fascist Republic" accompanies Thrussell's September 11th conspiracy theories with schmaltzy strings layered over a moaning accordeon. Snog's always been weird, and by all accounts seems to be getting weirder, but this album seems a little incoherent, a bit too eclectic for the sake of eclecticism. Looking on the bright side, there's more electronic bits than the last album, and you can dance to it, so long-time fans might breathe a sigh of relief on that account; besides, with loads of bonus tracks in MP3 format, including acoustic versions of "King Of Hate," "Turn On Your Brain Baby," and "Crash Crash," there's plenty of value for your money, and Snog are undeniably pretty entertaining even when they're not at their best.
Visit Thrussell's International Mind Control Corporation at www.worldwentdown.com/imcc for more information on Snog and David Thrussell.
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