Shake Chain - Snake Chain Music Album Reviews

Shake Chain - Snake Chain Music Album Reviews
Mixing viral videos with synths and the unsettling screams of lead singer Kate Mahony, the London punk quartet delivers an unusual record that’s as funny as it is unhinged.

Punk vocalists long ago mastered anger and its many variants: rage, disdain, bratty irritation. For the London quartet Shake Chain, fear and vulnerability are equally interesting trenches of the human mind. On their debut album, Snake Chain, lead singer Kate Mahony gives madcap readings of both—sobbing, screaming, whining, and squealing her way through banal little snapshots of modern life. Her bandmates—guitarist Robert Eyres, bassist Chris Hopkins, and drummer Joe Fergey—clot their harsh arrangements with synth textures and samples of well-known videos. The blare only maximizes Mahony’s cantata of discomfort; it makes for an unusual punk record that’s as funny as it is unhinged.

Without a lyric sheet on hand, you can still enjoy the pure animality of Mahony’s voice. You’ll only catch an actual word here and there, but her psychodramatic tantrums—imagine Miss Piggy going apeshit on Maury—are a delight in and of themselves. On the surf-tinged “Mike,” Mahony recreates the paranoid shrieks of a woman whose meltdown went viral. “Miiiiiiiikkkke! He’s running me over!” she shouts over heat-warped guitar and splattered cymbals. On “Stace,” Shake Chain pluck a snippet from EastEnders, the schlocky, long-running British soap opera. They distort melodramatic dialogue into the stuff of snuff films; cries of mourning sound like teens fleeing Leatherface’s bone room. 

Shake Chain are keen on perverting ubiquitous content until it’s barely recognizable, twisting the mundane into a waking nightmare. But you get the sense that they find the source material hellish as it is. As Mahony wails on “Internet”: “Don’t put that on the internet!/Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... It’s out of context!” Shake Chain are endlessly interested in everyday objects, events, and conversations—chiefly, how horrific they are. Mahony fills “Birthday” with appliances and furniture, casting them in surreal shafts of light. “Do we think that chairs are implied?” she asks, before rattling off a kinked string of small talk: “Have you got a light?/What is the time?/When you look in the oven/Does it look back at you?”

On the chugging, guitar-scuzzed “RU,” she compares security to “another anchor,” suggesting its potential to sink as much as moor. The song is structured like tortured water-cooler chat; Mahony teases out her questions, tweaking their meaning  word by word. “Are you/Are you still/Are you still living?... Are you still living in that flat?” It’s a common discussion, but the delivery—like a dying alley cat—subverts the familiar. Snake Chain is littered with moments like this. On the minimal “Architecture,” Mahony spoofs upward mobility, linking it to a bourgeois appreciation of structures. A flat, robotic synth pattern nudges along underneath, as she muses on her passion: “Trying to design a deck chair/For the rest of my life,” she sings. You can almost see her flipping through a towering stack of Dwell magazines, searching for satisfaction in other people’s 3 million dollar manors.

As if slipping into the opposite role, Mahony plays a wealthy dame in “Second Home,” a companion piece to “Architecture.” It’s the most straightforward punk track on Snake Chain, fueled by fast’n’dirty guitar, bass, and drums. It may also be the closest Mahony gets to actually singing. She clutches her pearls, describing the yearly garden party she hosts at her country estate. It is posh, naturally, and the house is decked out in “Farrow & Ball”—an English paint brand so expensive that it was once parodied on Saturday Night Live. But things take a dark, nationalistic turn. “It’s such a relief to get out of the city,” Mahony growls in the song’s final moments. “Making Britain better again/The best of British for people who belong.” While most of Shake Chain’s critiques require a stretch in perspective, the last verse of “Second Home” is their most blatant. But no matter the magnitude of their satire, or the tax bracket of their targets, normalcy is the lurking foe of Snake Chain. And it’s coming for all of us.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Shake Chain - Snake Chain Music Album Reviews Shake Chain - Snake Chain Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 19, 2022 Rating: 5


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