Scottish indie band The Snuts have come a long way in a short space of time, going from early, humble beginnings to playing some of the main festival stages around the country, and a lot has been achieved at a rapid pace.
The Glasgow-based Whitburn act are prolific. Placing songwriting and lyrics right at the heart of what they do, the four-piece remain unafraid to experiment, and as determined to continue challenging themselves through their music.
Unsurprisingly, the dedicated work is paying off. Produced by collaborators Detonate and Clarence Coffee Jr the follow-up to ‘W.L.’ is a superbly varied, highly consistent body of work with a song quality that is smoothly fitting.
Album opener title track ‘Burn The Empire’ is all guns blazing, a politically charged Arctic Monkeys echoing scenario, an explosion of a song that’s there to set the scene before the infectious, eclectic ‘Zuckerpunch’ defines the next step in the process, and ‘The Rodeo’ eases things with a nice hook to draw you in.
The thoughtful song order prepares for the big belter that ‘Knuckles’ is, and it is an immense moment. Uplifting, supremely melodic, it offers the quality of an instant classic, and is the type of song you just can’t get out of your head, no matter how hard you try, whereas, the social dimension of ‘13’ deals with the lack of support for mental health, how poverty affects Britain and the wider societal impact.
It is hard to process just how the remaining songs can be as good, but ‘End Of the Road’ where London-based alt-pop singer Rachel Chinouriri joins forces with the band, and shared vocals with Jack Cochrane, is compelling.
And Cochrane is on top form. Taking some inspiration from some of soul’s greatest makes a lot of sense, especially for this album encounter. The versatile, well-pitched vocals persist throughout, as the frontman delivers whatever is needed, responding to the spec and vibe of each track, with the penultimate ‘Yesterday’ being a breath-taking example.
The Snuts have made a distinct, modern record that deserves attention and praise, an honest and relevant piece of work that truly matters.
Words: Susan Hansen