RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Spiders & Snakes – Year of the Snake
Corporal Punishment

Rating: B

If you live outside of Hollywood, then you may not be aware of the band Spiders & Snakes.  In fact, they are so underground- and have been for nearly a quarter of a century- they make the Clash look like the Who!  They are so underground that they have released their ninth studio effort and not many outside of the City of Glitz can tell you who they are.  With any underground band that has this kind of survival skills, however, there is always a good story behind the scene. 

The band rose from the ashes of another iconic underground band called London, most famous for giving guys like Nikki Sixx, Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, Slash, Blackie Lawless and Fred Coury a start in the business of rock and roll.  The band was founded by ex-London member Lizzie Grey and Tim Yasui and quickly became darlings of the Sunset Strip.  The band had killer tunes, mixing hard rock with English glam and featuring outrageous stage shows and nearly naked chicks—so, one can see the initial appeal.  The band continues with that mix of craziness on Year of the Snake as one can hear Glam rock, ‘80s hard rock and Mott the Hoople-type coolness mixed with some old-school Alice Cooper influences.  It works.

The new album features multiple lead singers, which is different from past efforts where Grey was the front man.  He doesn’t mind sharing the vocal duties... and for good reason, as the album has a cool vibe and kinda makes one wonder what’s coming up next.  It could be a guitar solo, some horns, a scream or a drum fill, but rest assured- it will be fun.  Fun seems to be the band’s modus operandi, which is very welcomed in the screwed up world in which we live. 

The songs range from the funky “Don’t Step Out” to the rocking/rollicking of “Crazy” and “Too Angry” to the more pop “Hey You.”  The genre changes make the music even more enjoyable and fresh.  Another fun aspect is the famous folk who make appearances on the making of Year of the Snake, including Billy Sherwood (YES, CIRCA), Angelo Moore (FISHBONE), Rik Fox (W.A.S.P., STEELER), Ryo Okumoto (PHIL COLLINS, ARETHA FRANKLIN, SPOCK'S BEARD) and Betsy Weiss (BITCH).

Grey sums the attitude of Spiders & Snakes when he admits, “We’re simply not has-beens since we never officially became mainstream.”  If that ain’t a rock and roll attitude then I don’t know what the hell is. 

If you need a little something different that still rocks like a mofo, then look no further.  Simply celebrate the Year of the Snake. 

Year Of The Snake track listing:

01. Don't Step Outta Line (feat. Angelo Moore)
02. Crazy
03. Too Angry (feat. Angelo Moore)
04. Kawasaki City (feat. Ryo Okumoto, Betsy Weiss)
05. Neutron Baby
06. Drive Me Crazy
07. Over & Over Again
08. Hey You
09. Hello
10. Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore (feat. Rik Fox, Betsy Weiss)
11. Digital Church (feat. Billy Sherwood)

By Jeb Wright