Click to hear: “My Two Brians”
The RattleSnakes have hit one out of the park. Crushed it, actually. Get Your Fill is the catchiest and most consistently killer album these lo-fi, high-octane punks have produced yet.
The Snakes hit their creative stride back in 2008 with Tidal Living, when they were still a trio. Since then, guitarist Brian Cohen, singer (and then-bassist) Tara Cohen and drummer Mike Cunane have fleshed out into a fivesome and released two more solid records. Songs like “Lift,” from 2010’s Spread for the Wide Eagle, and the title track of 2011’s Spine showed they weren’t too punk for pretty melodies, and tracks like “Stray” (from Spread) displayed a penchant for pop that fully flowers on Fill.
The band’s ’80s hardcore backbone has always been prominent. The finger-shredding riffs and whiplash drumming are in evidence on burners like “The Pizza Never Came” and “Secret Government Satellite Communications Base.” Brian Cohen’s return to the mic on opener “Bad Thing” will have longtime fans digging out their debut, El Bursto, or a favorite X record.
But the best stuff here is slower and more nuanced, like the easygoing “Life Complaint” and “Oh Well,” which points toward the Cohens’ mellower output as the side-duo Fur. “My Two Brians,” “Tiny Song” and “Son Day” bounce along into rocky choruses that’ll hook you like a bass master. And only The RattleSnakes make noisy nuggets like “New Rocky Theme” and “Demons Demos,” or odd punk-prog stuff like “Last Outpost.”
There’s less squealing guitar and feedback freakout on Fill than on past releases and more faith in the songwriting. And though Tara Cohen could be said to be singing more and better than ever, nothing’s polished enough for mainstream radio, thank God. The home-studio production is still thin and kinda tinny, but that just gives you an excuse to do what you want to do anyway: turn this album up loud!
— Chris Busby