From: London, UK
Genre: Psychedelic Rock
“It’s not like the good ‘ol days” they say, reminiscing of the late 60’s hippie culture, which gave rise to many of the classic psychedelic rock acts who would go on to pioneer a sound influencing generations to come. Whereas the carefree lifestyle and summers of love are long gone however, the music itself has lived on in the timeless fashion it was always destined to and, albeit on a low scale, bands do still continue to reproduce the unique sound and vibes that made the movement so popular; much to the irritation of many mainstream critics, who have been quick to write off such artists for being “stuck in the past”, “unoriginal” and writing “1960’s music not fit for the 2010’s”. Quite possibly it was for this reason that London 4-piece The Snap Elect were so short lived…
The band did however find a niche on the local club scene as they gained a strong cult following and praise from a few select media outlets; most notably BBC Radio 1’s Vic Galloway, who was one of the few with some of that 60’s expanded consciousness still intact enough to understand how great they were. In an industry that has been conditioned to be so closed-minded as to what is acceptable in the 21st century, it is with great thanks that people in these positions have the balls to speak up and make themselves heard when they are passionate about an artist, no matter what the backlash. Had the mainstream done the same, maybe this band would be gracing the cover of Classic Rock Magazine today.
Luckily we have been blessed with the opportunity to rediscover, and although the band did only ever release one LP, 2010’s Mangled Angle Land, it is an album that would have even the soberist of folk straight on the buzzer to that old LSD dealer, as visions of all their favourite 60’s and 70’s rock bands come flooding back. From start to finish this 11-track showcase truly is one of the best things to come out of the stagnant Psychedelic Rock genre since its heyday and where the band tried to dub their sound as “Powergum” (power pop meeting 60’s bubblegum), they really were not doing it justice. Maybe they wanted to modernise the sound or at least make it appear modern by giving it a fresh name. Either way, you can rest assured that if you loved the likes of Grateful Dead and the upbeat rhythm of The Beatles, you would be spiting yourself by not going out of your way to give this one a spin.
Starting off along an Elton John route, many of the tracks are piano/keyboard heavy, regularly making use of the electric organ so familiar to the genre’s origins. There are bluesy riffs and signs of Hendrix in second track Heed The Call, which float in and out of a vocally harmonic chorus to the calibre of CCR and Crosby, Stills and Nash; giving a decent introduction to the overall gist of the record. Organ solos galore and plenty of subtle cowbell for good measure, fans of Blue Öyster Cult and Zappa’s poppier numbers should also feel obliged to jump aboard the VW party. Tracks Desire and Magnafox could be described as more modern, possibly geared towards the independent kind of sounds the band may have been shifting towards had they stuck around. Remaining in the 2-3 minute spectrum, the tracks call in influence from the likes of The Doors, CSN and The Police and even with the organ and addition of some complimentary brass they are clearly the two standout songs in terms of giving the record its room to breathe.
Continuing onwards and upwards in a similar vein Did I Do Good? has earmarks of early Stones and Catch The Wurm again brings it slightly more up-to-date with sonic harmonies akin to Super Furry Animals (a 90’s band heavily influenced by the psychedelic era), who are also noticeable on the laid back closer Colours, which has a haunting feeling as if Steeleye Span have come in to comfort us on the way back to reality. The overall sense of otic accomplishment provided on Mangled Angle Land will make it hard pressed to find anything that sums up the Woodstock days in such a way, especially in this modern era.
Being the hidden gem that it is, there isn’t much more information or listening options online, but you can still check out their Facebook Page, where some of the band members are sharing their new projects.
Other than that, the LP should still be findable… So it would be suggested to get down your local record store and start digging.
A few remaining copies of this classic have just surfaced and are available directly from the band! Get your copy fast, before it’s too late: Get the vinyl here