Snake & Friends - Snake & Friends LP

Image of Snake & Friends - Snake & Friends LP


Here we have it, nine flaming tunes that make up the debut album from Snake & Friends! Firstly, who is Snake? Al Monfort of course, known for his work with Straightjacket Nation, The UV Race, Total Control, Russell St. Bombings, Eastlink, Dick Diver, Terry and many more. You may have heard the self-released Snake cassette in 2013, but probably not. And who are these Friends? Well, initially the only friends was Amy Hill but after Snake was invited to perform at The Sydney Opera House by Repressed Records in 2015 those live collaborators were enlisted to contribute to this recording. The Friends are Amy Hill (organ), Nick Kuceli (synth), Xanthe Waite (voice), Rupert Edwards (piano), Mikey Young (synth, flute) and Zephyr Pavey (mandolin).

The contrast of a self-released cassette and an Opera House concert sets the parameters for what can be heard in this album. While The Misses and The Masses bares a bit of similarity to The UV Race (via maybe Tronics or Alan Vega) and Forever New could almost slip into a Lower Plenty record (with a bit of Nikki Sudden in there), this record is a different terrain for most Al Monty listeners. There’s aspects that echo the friendlier side of the Post-Minimalist, learned composer-y types actively working towards “New Music”. Situate this next to the happy accidents of D-I-Y, the fruitful results of amatuer enthuasiasm and creative liberation that occured in the wake of Punk™. Free jazz, British folk, music from outside of Western traditions; it’s all open slather here. Snake & Friends present these reference points in not so much as an a-meets-b, but a strange manifestation that could only occur from living inside of music.